There’s a reason fish and chips exists: the combination of fish and potatoes is quite a thing of marriage. In any case, like Haddock on Smash or Unbattered Pollock & Chips, this fish and potatoes recipe is very much asian – Battered spicy beancurd-marinated sutchi fillet on sesame mash of potatoes, carrots and white radish, with sweet gem lettuce and calamansi.
- Set peeled and sliced potatoes, carrot and radish away to boil. When done, drain and let it steam dry in the colander for about 5 minutes or so. Then, mash with a knob of butter, a splash of milk, salt, pepper and a few drops of sesame oil.
- Marinate the fish fillets with spicy beancurd and dust with self-raising flour. Be sure to pat dry the fillets before doing this. Deep fry till golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack laid with kitchen towel.
- Serve all together with fresh leaves of sweet gem lettuce and half a calamansi for squeezing. Golden brown fried sliced shallots with the mash is a HUGE bonus.
Frozen fish is an sufficient alternative if you haven’t got fresh fish. However, cooking frozen fish can be a tricky task; when done wrongly, the fish can be real dry, and gross. A good way to do it I’d say, is to baste it continuously in the accompanying sauce.
In this case, I’ve done a mild tom yum sauce, with carrots, shallots, garlic, a slice of ginger and a squeeze of lemon. If you’re wondering, the tom yum base was from an instant paste in a bottle just like this one:
- Set the pasta away in a pot to boil together with a handful of frozen peas. Boiling the peas instead of sauteing them allows them a fresher flavour and sweeter crunch.
- I made the sauce by tossing the chopped condiments (mentioned above) together into a skillet, and adding a teaspoon of tom yum paste and an adequate amount of pasta-cooking water.
- Then, I cooked the fish, drenching it repeatedly in the sweet yet just sourish gravy. Nonstop, till the fish was just right.
- Drained the pasta and peas and served with a chilli garnish, for colour and added heat.
Kinda like an Asian bolognese, slightly spicy, and with fish. Lush.
Click here for the original Tom Yum Spaghetti recipe.
Alright, so maybe it’s not really cream. But it’s pretty close I reckon, and less heartstopping, I think.
- Get your quick-cook spaghetti boiling together with the chopped carrots in a pot on the hob.
- In a skillet on medium low heat, melt a hunk of butter, then add in a splash of wine, a squeeze of lemon, a small amount of garlic puree and a thin slice of ginger. Crack in some salt and pepper too. Make sure you’ve got enough liquid to baste the fish.
- Once everything has combined, remove the slice of ginger, it has done its job.
- Make sure the fillet of fish has been pat dry, gently place it in the pan and baste it away on medium heat.
- Remove as soon as the fish is cooked. Take care not overdo it.
- Drain your spaghetti if it’s done.
- With the remaining butter and fish liquid rendered, add equal volumes of milk and flour. TIP! Usually, I add the milk to determine the amount of sauce I want, then add a little more milk, before adding flour in small quantities till the desired consistency.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Squeeze more lemon juice if necessary.
- Serve the sauce drizzled over the fish and spaghetti.
I got tired of having fish and potatoes every Friday, so I made a little asian fish stew last night. Mummy used to make it for dinner some Fridays, before we succumbed to the convenience of dining out on the night before the weekend. It’s pleasantly bold, yet ever-so-slightly sour. Braised slowly but surely, in a mildly sweet garlicky dark sauce, the fish sings beautifully with the shrimps. The tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach leaves tosses up a party of textures. Chowed down with extra hot finger chilli and freshly steamed basmati.
- 1 fillet haddock, defrosted completely, cut into large chunks
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- 1 brown mushroom, sliced
- 1 white mushroom, sliced
- 1 handful shrimps
- 2 slices ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon black vinegar
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 mug water
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 handful baby spinach leaves
- Get the sauce done first. With a little oil in the pan, in goes the garlic and ginger.
- When fragrant, get the shrimps, tomatoes and mushrooms in.
- Then, the vinegar, soy sauces, sugar and sesame oil.
- Add water to add more volume to sauce. Adjust with sea salt accordingly.
- Finally, when the sauce has reduced slightly, turn the heat down to s simmer and sit the fish pieces gently inside. Baste it well, and flip carefully when it’s half cooked.
- Once the fish is done, turn off the heat.
- Serve atop the baby spinach leaves.
No points for presentation there, but all smiles for the flavour.
Back when Mummy made breakfast for me to bring to school, I’d always be pleasantly surprised whenever it was toasted fishcake sandwiches. Even though she made it every Friday.
This concept of ‘fishcakes’ is really quite unique to Singapore. For some reason, it’s extremely difficult to find it even in other parts of Asia, not to mention Europe. Back in London, I’d only find it in Chinatown; what a tragedy.
In any case, if and when you get your hands on some ‘fishcake’, please treat yourself to a morning toasted fishcake sandwich. It will complete your day (and your life).
- 1 piece of fishcake, halved and toasted
- 2 slices of bread, white or wholemeal
- 1 thumbsized knob of butter, halved
With a knob of butter and a hot toasty piece of fishcake wedged in each slice of bread, you’ve got one more thing to make your Friday brighter.
Earlier this afternoon, my dad gently requested, with a clenched fist, that I make pizza for dinner. This is one of the four I made:
If you ever have time and you feel like making a pizza, please try this one out. Thin crust pizza with fishcake and sweet pea topping, it’s comfort food to the max.
Fishcake is something I sorely miss while in London, for some reason, they don’t have it at the supermarket. Only Chinatown stocks it. And oddly enough, further up north of England, my peers have it in almost every homecooked meal. Such is life.
Back to the Fishcake. It’s marvellous when toasted or barbecued. So when it’s on a pizza, baking away with a coupla parboiled sweet peas, the result is maximum comfort in satisfaction.
Please. Try it. Soon.