There seem to be a lot of things in our freezer but when the missus went through the things, she was dumbstruck and couldn't think of a single thing to cook. True, there were fish of different types, beef, prawns, chicken and calamari. All frozen, and staring back at her. "Why don't you cook?", she said to me finally after a long unfruitful stare into the freezer!
As usual, it was the weekend and I had nothing important to do, so I was more than happy to oblige; especially when she said she would be doing the gardening if I cooked. I grabbed Chef Wan's Simply Sedap cookbook turned to the seafood section looking for a fish recipe and I finally came upon this particular one.
I made minor changes to the recipe which I feel did not really change the taste of the dish all that much. Anyway I did make the changes according to what ingredients I had at home. Of course, I had to go to the market to get my hands on the pomfret!
- 500 g pomfret, cut into 5 pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cup vegetable oil
Season the fish with the turmeric powder and salt. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the fish until golden brown. Dish out and set aside. Reserve the oil.
Spice paste :
- 6 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
- 12 green birds eye chillies
- 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced
- 1 thumb size galangal, diced
- 4 shallots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 8 candlenuts, chopped
- * 1 cup coconut cream plus 2 cups water
- * 10 red birds eye chillies
- * 1 bay leaf
- * 2 tsp salt
- * 2 tsp sugar
- * juice from 1 lime
Put the red chillies, birds eye chillies, lemon grass, galangal, shallots, garlic and candlenuts in a blender and blitz with half cup water until becomes a smooth paste. In a pot, heat three tablespoons of the oil used for frying the fish and saute the blended spices until aromatic and cooked through. When the spices are cooked and aromatic, pour in the coconut cream and water, and put in the bay leaf, salt, sugar and the fried fish and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer gently for five more minutes. Before turning off the heat, put in the red birds eye chillies and lime juice. Serve warm when the fish has absorbed the flavours of the spices.