One of the most delicious ways to cook up small pan size Menpachi and Aweoweo is to fry them up whole. This recipe is fairly simple and can be modified to suit your taste. Here are the steps I use:
Pan size fish (between 6-8 inches)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1) Clean and gut the fish. With Aweoweo, removing the scales is optional, but if it is a large one, I recommend scaling it.
2) Cut some diagonal slits into the side of the fish. These slits are to absorb some of the spices as well as to easily check the status of the fish during cooking.
3) Blot the fish with paper towel and rub salt and pepper on the outside and inside of the fish.
4) Add some oil to a frying pan or wok to about the 1" level (more if it's a thick fish).
5) Heat the oil, but the trick is to make sure the oil isn't too hot. If the oil is too hot, the fish will burn on the outside and still be raw on the inside. I usually put my stove on medium heat.
6) Dip the fish in cornstarch to lightly coat each side.
7) Put the fish in the oil to cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Do not disturb the fish while it is frying. Moving the fish too early will damage the skin of the fish. For a large fish, you may need to fry it for a minute or two longer per side.
8) Remove it from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb the oil.
9) Top with garlic salt (or shoyu) and enjoy with steamed rice.