Ready in 50 minutes
crispy, juicy, and delicious~!!
Wash & dry tilapia fillets, cut into bite-size pieces, and place them in a shallow dish.
Combine the tsuyu/tempura dipping sauce, minced garlic, sugar, 3/8 cup of green onion, and chili peppers in a small bowl. Mix well, pour the sauce mixture over the raw tilapia fillets and rub in gently, and let sit for 10 minutes. Save the remaining 1/8 cup of green onion for later use.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pot until hot (preferably with a pot wide enough to hold all of the tilapia pieces in a single "layer"). this may take 3~5 minutes. One can test the oil temperature with a basil stem; carefully dip the stem in the oil, and if it bubbles audibly, the oil should be hot enough for deep-frying.
While the oil is heating, fill a shallow bowl with flakey sweet potato powder, and wash and remove all the leaves from the sweet basil stems. dry the leaves with paper towel, and discard stems (or give the stems to your pet bunny).
When the oil is suitably hot, transfer the tilapia pieces to the bowl with the sweet potato powder, but leave the sauce behind. Coat each piece well, then fry them in the oil for 3~5 minutes (or until golden-brown).
If desired, the sauce used to marinate the fish can be further prepared to use as a dipping sauce. At 2 and 1/4 cups of water to the mixture, then heat to a boil. Remove the mixture from heat, add the previously saved 1/8 cup of green onion, and the dipping sauce is ready.
When the fried-tilapia nuggets have reached a golden brown, remove from heat and let drain.
Fry the sweet basil leaves for 30 seconds, then drain. (One might want to have the pot lid ready for covering the frying pot, as the leaves--if not dried enough--can be quite "explosive" when fried).
Place the fried-tilapia nuggets on a serving plate, sprinkle with white pepper and lemon juice, garnish with fried sweet basil, and serve!