Monday, April 19th, 2010
Fish Sambal in White Rice Vinegar is one of my favorite dish which my dear late mom used to cook for us whenever my dad had a good catch from the sea. My dad loves to fish in the open sea and I remember when we were little, he had a small 'sampan' and together with his friends and sometimes alone, will go out to sea to fish. He used to bring back all types of fish ie. mackerel, stingray, red snapper, grouper, baby shark, threadfin, promfret, prawns, squids and the list just goes on and on and on. That's how my sisters and I are able to name and recognize most sea fishes. Imagine the freshness of all those seafood and the good thing was, they were free. Now, we have to buy them from the market and the freshness is questionable at times. He still goes fishing every once in a while with his fishing 'kakis' although not as often as he would have liked to.
Ok. So, here's the recipe for the Fish Sambal. The best fish to cook in this recipe is cencaru or horse-mackerel in English and instead of tamarind juice which is usually used in sambal, my mom used white rice vinegar. This is simply out of this world!
7 dried chillies
1/4 inch belacan (dried shrimp paste)
- blend together the above ingredient
2 cencaru - cleaned and drained
2 medium tomatoes - quartered or 5 -6 cherry tomatoes
1 big onion - julienne into rings
3 kaffir leaf
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp white rice vinegar (add more if you prefer)
Salt and sugar to taste
1. Heat oil till very hot and fry the cencaru till crispy. Dish and drain.
2. Fry the blended paste (together with the kaffir leaf) in the oil till fragrant and the oil separates.
3. Add water, vinegar, sugar and salt to taste.
4. Add in the tomatoes and let it boil for 2 -3 mins but constantly keep stirring to prevent burning.
5. Lastly, just when the taste is right, add in the big onion. Do not overcook the onion. It should be crunchy and juicy.
I highly recommend that you try this recipe..once you've cooked it and eat it, I bet you will cook it again and again and again...