Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Easy tasty fried Ikan Kembong / Mackerel

Fresh, inexpensive ikan kembong
For many reasons, ikan kembong (type of small mackerel), together with tenggiri (spanish mackerel) are my favorite choice of fish - they are easy to find and good for frying.  In contrary, I have problems finding fresh, good quality fish for steaming, which  keys to a good steamed fish.  But perhaps the biggest reason was that frying fish is relatively more forgiving then steaming a fish.

My favorite recipe for fish is fried fish with soy sauce mix.  This soy sauce mix is quite versatile and goes very well with any fried fish dish.

The preparation is simple: first fried the fish till golden brown/crispy; 2nd prepare the garnishing and 3rd make the soy sauce.

  • 2 inches of ginger - peeled and cut into thin strips intended for frying as a garnishing and to enhance flavor
  • 1 stalk spring onion - cut into 2-inch length think strips.  This is mainly used for ganishing.
Fried the ginger in a hot wok with 1 tbs of cooking oil till golden brown and set aside.  Use medium heat to avoid burning the ginger strips. Left the remaining oil in the wok for the soy sauce mix later.

Making the soy sauce mix
    • 1- 3 tablespoons soy sauce.  The amount of soy sauce forms the 'base' (together with the water) of the mix and how much to use does depends how much of the fish you have
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
    • 1-2 dashes white pepper powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil - this is to enhance the fragrance of the dish, use sparingly.
    • 2 tablespoons sugar - this give a sweet-sour (from say sauce) taste
    There is not right of wrong mix ratio but generally soy sauce plays a dominant role here and it does detects the overall 'saltiness" of the mixture .  You can add more sugar if you like it to be sweeter, or add more pepper to have more kick/hot flavor. Shaoxing rice wine usually has a stronger taste and does tastes a little bit spicy if too much is used.  Feel free to experiment.

    Mix all the ingredients well. Pour the soy sauce mixture to the left over oil (from frying ginger strips earlier) until it boils (avoid using strong fire).  Then pour the say sauce over the fried fish.  Add the spring onion and fried ginger strips.

    Extra step
    Just like steamed fish, you could also fried some garlic with oil till golden brown, and then pour to the garnished fried fish which will instantly produce an appetite-hungry smell.

     Dinner is served.

    © copyright fiddling with recipe 2011

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