Today’s MM post is one of those home-style, everyday type dishes I talked about a while back when I made the green bean omelette.
That's the tail end of the fish. Unfortunately, the photo of the whole fish was just a bit too scary to use, cos it lost its skin :)
I got to thinking about this because it was Mother’s Day yesterday. And you know, I thought of my mum. She lives an eight hour plane trip away, so we didn’t get to spend time with her, and we couldn’t even Skype (technical difficulties over there), so all she got was text message! Sorry mum.
Anyway, this dish reminds me of my mum, and eating lunch with my brother after school. Back then, the school day started at about 7.45am and ended at about 1-ish in the afternoon. We had recess around 10.30, and went home for lunch. That was if we were in the morning session. Due to lack of space/ facilities, schools also ran an afternoon session, which went from about 1.30pm to about 6.30pm. Which session you attended depended on what year you were in.
For example, I think I attended morning school sessions in Primary 1, 3 and 5(?), and I can’t even remember when in secondary school! What I do remember is hating the afternoon session because it felt as if we never had any time to ourselves. By the time we got home, it was dinner time and bed time, then when we woke up, we only had enough time to get a bit of homework done before it was time to get ready for school again. Unless you were an absolutely early riser, afternoon school sucked.
But back to the food. As you can imagine, we’d be ravenous by the time we got home, and Mum (bless her), always had a hot meal waiting. Most of the time she cooked, and sometimes she’d pick something up from the market/ hawker stalls. This fish dish was one we had often because, like the green bean omelette, it ticked all the boxes. It was easy and fast to prepare, tasted great, was nutritious and satisfied even picky eaters (that would be my little brother) ;P.
Mum always used a fish known as ikan bawal (silver pomfret), but since I couldn’t find it here, I used a small whole snapper instead. Any white fleshed fish would work I think. I’m not writing out a “proper” recipe for this because it all depends on taste, but I’ll explain how I made it.
First I prepared some finely cut ginger matchsticks. Then I cut slits in the thickest part on the side of the snapper ( to ensure it cooked through), patted it dry and rubbed it with a bit of salt. Then I deep fried the snapper in vegetable oil, at which point, it lost most of its skin because I was a bit impatient and the oil wasn’t quite hot enough. While the snapper was cooking, I heated up a tiny bit of vegetable oil in a small frying pan, added a dash of sesame oil, and when it was hot enough, added the ginger matchsticks, and fried it until the ginger started to turn golden brown. Make sure to remove the ginger from the heat at this point as residual heat from the oil will keep cooking it after.
Then the fish was placed on a serving plate, a dash of soy sauce splashed on, and then the crisp ginger and ginger scented oil poured over the top. Served with rice and a green vegetable, it made a simple but complete meal. (Actually, I would even be happy to serve this fish to guests as part of a dinner menu.)
Have a great start to the week. And remember, if you have any Malaysian dishes/ posts to share, please do send your entry to me at its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com as I will be hosting the round-up for Muhibbah Malaysian Monday #11. Muhibbah Monday is an event co-created and jointly hosted by Suresh from 3 Hungry Tummies and myself. You can read more about it here.