Sunday, June 12, 2005

Beanie Fish

This afternoon, hubby gave me an ultimatum, "clear your freezer or no more visits to the supermarket". Sheesh... you see, I kinda have a bad habit. I visit supermarkets and lose control somewhat akin to the manner in which women lose control in a shopping mall or a shoe boutique. All these beautiful produce, gleaming slabs of meat and fish, and beautifully organized packages, cartons, bottles and cans, are just screaming for my attention - "pick me! pick me!" - I can't resist. I see, I imagine (what it could become), I grab, and I cart home.

Time is unfortunately not always on my side, and when I can't cook during the week, my freezer acts like this huge safe deposit box (or garbage compacter, according to hubby). This is actually BAD, as cooking should always be done with the freshest of ingredients (which is also why whenever I next feel like cooking, I make a trip to the market again and kinda forget what's been deposited in the freezer - a vicious cycle!).

After hubby did his inventory check this afternoon, I had to fiqure out what to do with my freezer stuff. Found two greasy grouper (truly, that is the name of this fish) and decided to fry them. Searched fridge and found preserved bean paste (including spicy bean paste). Done - dinner tonight would be beanie fish (braised fish in bean paste).

  • After defrosting fishes, wash and season with some salt. Then coat with 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour (this gives the fish a wonderful crispiness when fried).
  • Deep-fry fishes in heated oil (in a wok) until fragrant and crispy. Remove and drain excess oil.
  • To make the sauce, heat up about 3 tablespoons of sesame oil in wok and add some shredded ginger and a big onion (quartered) and stir-fry. Then add about 1 tablespoon of brown salted soyabean paste ('taucheo') and half a tablespoon of hot/spicy bean sauce, stir-fry until fragrant.
  • Add to the sauce half a tablespoon of oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, some pepper and about 1 cup of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the fried fishes and braise over low heat for about 3 minutes or so.
  • Garnish with chopped spring onions (good thing I still had some in the fridge).
The fish was simply delicious, crispy on the outside (tapioca flour does wonders) with firm sweet flesh (groupers are particularly good for frying), and the braised spicy bean sauce went very well with steamed jasmine rice. Dinner passed with flying colors - hubby has allowed me to go marketing again! Yippee!


Anonymous gwenda said...

mm this sounds good! :)

6/15/2005 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

Dear Gwenda - also not too bad tastewise, doesn't look that great in photo but blame it on the photographer, still grappling with focussing issues!

6/16/2005 01:24:00 AM  

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