Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Fried fish is one of the ‘must have’ dishes in a typical Malay meal. Growing up in army camps throughout Malaysia, the smell of fish frying before lunch or dinner was a daily occurrence. To give this humble dish a slight twist, my mum used to make a tamarind sauce that she poured over the fried fish to give it some extra oomph. Here’s the recipe.
Ingredients (for 6 small whole fish/fillets)
6 small whole fish or firm fish fillets (I used yellowtail scad aka ikan selar kuning)
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp salt
2 to 3 shallots – sliced fine
2 cloves garlic – sliced fine
2 red chillies - sliced fine
2 spring onions – sliced
1 coriander plant – sliced (see my GLOSSARY post on CORIANDER)
½ red onion – sliced thickly (optional)
1 heaped tbsp tamarind pulp – soaked in 1 cup water and juice extracted (don’t throw away the pulp)
2 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kicap manis)
2 tsp soy sauce
If using whole fish, make a couple of scores on each side of the fish. Rub the fish with the salt and turmeric and set aside for 15 to 30 mins.
In a fry pan or wok, heat some oil and deep fry the fish until cooked. The skin should be crispy. Lift on paper towels to drain, then arrange on a platter. Set aside.
Remove all the oil bar 2 tbsp from the wok. Saute the garlic and shallots for 30 secs, then add in half the chillies. Cook for 1 min.
Add in the tamarind juice and bring to the boil. Next, add in both the soy sauces. If you would like more gravy, add half a cup of water to the saved tamarind pulp and extract second tamarind juice. Taste, adjust seasoning and turn off heat.
Pour the sauce over the fish, garnish with the spring onions, coriander, onion and remainder chillies. Serve immediately.