Nonya Recipes pg.9


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(#9a) Sambal Fish

(#9b) Sambal Fish (stuffed version)


Recipe Name: Sambal Stuffed Fish

Category: Nonya/Singapore

Sambal/stuffed Fish is another accompaniment to either steamed white rice or to coconut rice (nasi lemak).
On this page I am presenting 2 common versions (#9a and #9b), one perhaps better known actually as Sambal Fish, while the other, being the standard Nonya way of preparing fish by stuffing with sambal before frying.

Ingredients List (#9a) Sambal Fish : goto glossary

a) 4 medium sized fish, either ikan cencaru or preferably mackerel ikan kembong
b) 4 fresh red chillies, sliced and de-seeded
c) 5 dried chillies
d) 8 shallots, sliced
e) half a clove of garlic
f) 1 inch sliced piece of belachan - roasted
g) 1 stalk of lemon grass (serai)
h) 1 Tbsp of tamarind (assam jawa), mixed with 1 cup of water
i) 1 Tbsp of sugar
j) salt to taste
k) 10 Tbsp cooking oil for frying

Preparation (#9a) Sambal Fish :

First, soak the dried chillies in warm water for at least 15 minutes.
Wash and clean the fish, then brown the fish on both sides in a small amount of hot oil.
Set aside the fish, and discard the oil from the pan.
Pound together finely, in a mortar, the fresh and dried chillies, then followed by the garlic and the shallots.
Of course, nowadays a food processor could be used instead of a stone mortar and pestle which is the traditional way.
In the same hot pan or wok previously used for browning the fish, add the remainder of the cooking oil and fry the pounded ingrediants, followed by the bruised stalk of lemon grass and the belachan.
Then, add the 1 cup of the strained tamarind juice, and the salt and sugar according to taste, to the mixture and continue boiling.
When the gravy mixture starts to boil, add the fish.
Finally, cook on medium heat (for another 10 to 15 minutes) until gravy starts to thicken, then serve as in the picture (#9a).

Ingredients List (#9b) Sambal Fish (stuffed version): goto glossary

a) 4 medium sized fish, either ikan cencaru or preferably mackerel ikan kembong
b) 6 shallots, sliced
c) half a clove of garlic
d) 1 inch sliced piece of belachan - roasted
e) 2 stalks of lemon grass (serai)
f) 3 fresh red chillies, sliced and de-seeded
g) 2 leaves of limau purot , finely sliced
h) 5 dried chillies
i) thumb-sized piece of turmeric (kunyit), finely pounded
j) 1 tsp of tamarind (assam jawa), mixed with 2 Tbsp of water
k) salt to taste
l) 2 Tbsp cooking oil for frying

Preparation (#9b) Sambal Fish (stuffed version):

First, soak the dried chillies in warm water for at least 15 minutes.
Wash and clean the fish. Remove the bones (optional), and make 2 horizontal slits along the belly of the fish, in order to form a cavity in the fish for stuffing the sambal later on.
Then, rub fish with salt and turmeric and set aside.

Pound together finely, in a mortar, the items b) to i), then set to aside.
In a hot pan or wok, add the cooking oil and fry the pounded ingredients, then add the 2 Tbs of the strained tamarind juice to the mixture and continue frying until fragrant.
Remove the fried mixture from the pan, and use it to stuff the insides of the uncooked fish.

Finally, deep fry the stuffed fish in hot oil until cooked and golden brown on both sides.

To Serve: Dry the fish on paper towels to remove excess oil, if required, and serve as illustrated.

Comments: The Sambal Fish may be prepared with the sambal over the fish, or stuffed inside the fish.
The picture (#9a) shows the version with sambal over the fish, while (#9b) shows the stuffed version. Also refer to Udang Sambal

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