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Chinese Steamed Fish

While I’d thought of posting this exquisite dish of Steamed fish, my Sweet heart was all excited. Yet again this is his specialty. He cook it with passion and put his full attention and care on the fish.   Lucky fella!! ;)… The most amazing healthy fish ever !! Steamed and topped with soy sauce brings out unique flavor with it. All you need is love for fresh fish, live from the tank selected by you and cooked in no time.        
How that sounds!!

In India particularly in our region we don’t usually get to purchase fish which is still swimming.. First time when we were invited for party in a restaurant in China we were asked to select fishes from the tank. We hesitant at first, then got to select two big fishes. They were then caught by the chef and taken to kitchen. That day it was little bit disturbing to see them on the plate ūüė¶ ..  Additionally we were very new to traditional Chinese food.

It was totally new experience for us to have fresh fish and it really turned to be unavoidable later. Started loving the freshness and all goodness of steamed fish, we decided to try it out at our kitchen. Been tasted for several times, we had an idea what makes this fish so special. Also we got guidance from one of our friend’s mom from China.
So we thought now its appropriate to disclose our secrets to making “Steamed Fish“. You could use a fish which is not fresh but you may have to sacrifice the freshness and the flavor it gives to the dish.


Servings: 2
Preparation time: 8 mins
Cooking time: 12 mins
Level: Easy 
Ingredients:

Perch /King Bass  Big /small, 400 gm for two
Ginger 50 gm
Scallion  20 gm
Vegetable Oil ¬ľ cup
Seafood seasoned Soy sauce/ Soy sauce ¬ľ cup

Method :

1. Clean the fish and slit them both sides. Place it on a plate which is big enough to go into the steamer. He used a very big wok with little water for steaming. With a round rack in the center and an oval shaped porcelain plate for keeping the fish for steaming. 
2. Divide the ginger into two halves. Julienne one half for garnishing and slice the other half into coins.
3. Take few scallion strips and place it inside the fish stomach along with the sliced ginger. Also place 3 nos of sliced ginger in the bottom between plate and the fish as a bed while steaming. 
4. Place it in the steamer and steam for 8 mins if it is small fish or 10 mins for medium. It took 8 mins for our fish to cook. You can otherwise check the doneness using chopstick to see whether the flesh separates the bone easily.
5. Remove the fish along with the plate from the steamer and discard the ginger, scallion and the water released by the fish during steaming.
6. Gently lift the fish and place it on the serving plate. Garnish with julienne ginger and scallions.
7. Heat oil in a wok. When it comes to smoking point pour onto the fish.
8. Pour the soy sauce all over the fish.
9. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Notes:
1.Use the normal soy sauce if you don’t have the seasoned soy sauce for seafood. 
2. It is very important to add oil and then soy sauce to get that shiny fish and flavor.
3. As said before keep checking your fish for doneness if you don’t rely on time or in doubt with the          kind & size of the fish.
4. Don’t slit the fish too deep. When it is cooked it will fall apart.

Thai Pineapple Rice


Thai cuisine always been very close to my heart next to Indian food. You will notice similarities between them in few dishes but entirely different when it comes to cooking. More similarities can be seen with Chinese cuisine.

Two years back, one fine day during our trip to Beijing we decided to book our lunch at Thai restaurant “Banana leaf”. That was our first ever try to Thai food. We gathered some points before walking into the restaurant like lists of famous dishes, never miss items on the menu etc.. We were determined to try Green curry. papaya salad, one fried item and one of their well known dessert whichever available in menu. As expected, the menu covered most of the famous dishes from Thai. When we looked upon rice section we found “Thai Pineapple Rice” and the picture attracted us more. Couldn’t stop ordering the pineapple rice even it was not in our list. It got our thumbs up not only for its presentation also for its outstanding flavours.

From then on we have become its fan and somehow managed to discover the ingredients that it had. My husband have tried cooking Pineapple rice in so many ways to bring its flavour. Honestly, it took him more than 6 trials to get that authentic taste. Finally he succeeded in obtaining the same flavour. So here is his own customized recipe for “Thai Pineapple Rice”. Thanks to him. I love this particular recipe from him very much.
Servings:  3        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Level: Moderate


Ingredients:
1)      Pineapple (Excluding the skin)            275 gm (Big one)
2)      Cooked rice                                  600 gm 
3)      Diced carrots and peas               150 gm                                 
4)      Shrimps                                        15 nos /100 gm
5)      Onion                                           150 gm (1 medium)
6)      Garlic                                           2 cloves
7)      Green chilli                                  2 nos
8)      Egg                                               2 nos
9)      Cashewnut                                   15 nos
10)   Raisins                                         1 Tbsp
11)   Curry powder                               1 Tbsp
12)   Fish sauce /Soy sauce                 2 Tbsp
13)   Salt                                               as required
Method:


Preparation:
1)      Fry the cashewnuts either by toasting them in oil or in oven.
2)      Clean the shrimps thoroughly and dry them using towel.
3)      Dice the carrot into small cubes.
4)      Chop the onions and garlic finely. Chop the green chillies.
5)      Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the egg and cook it like you cook scrambled egg. Keep it aside.
6)      Chop the side of the pineapple and make it into two pieces one large like serving bowl another
with a thickness of a lid. Scoop all the pineapple from the largest portion. Try to get large chunks.
7)      Cube the pineapple. Take 1/3rd of the pineapple and juice it.
8)      Using fork separate any lumps in the cooked rice.
Cooking:
1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a wok.
2)      Add the chopped garlic, onion and green chilli. Fry them till onion turns golden brown.
3)      Add the shrimps and diced vegetables. Saute for 3-4 mins or till the shrimps turn pinkish.
4)      Now add the pineapple along with the juice and sauté for a minute.
5)      Add in the curry powder and salt. Mix well.
6)      Add the rice and stir well till it combines well with the mixture.
7)      Now add the scrambled egg and fish sauce. Toss them to combine.
8)      Taste for correcting salt and curry powder. If needed add it at this stage.
9)      Turn off the heat. Transfer to the scooped pineapples’s large portion carefully.
10)   Serve hot.

   
Note:

1)      For vegetarians, avoid using shrimps and eggs. Instead of fish sauce use soy sauce
considering same quantity as of fish sauce.

Kerala Style Sardine Curry

 

Recently I have been posting few multicuisine and north indian recipes. Yesterday i got a chance to cook my regional cuisine. When i was crossing the seafood section in local supermarket the name sardine (Mathi) caught my eyes. With my eyes wide opened i rushed to the shelf ¬†and i gave a big smile to those sardines lying just in front of my eyes. Actually sardine fish is hard to find in China. Its been years i saw them and tasted them. So walked back to home thinking whether to fry them or to curry them. I had some coconut lying in the fridge so finally i decided to make the fish curry. Since its been long i cooked mathi curry i made a call to my mom and asked for her recipe. She is from kerala so the curry is. This is truly my mom’s recipe. ¬†I love her recipe as much i love her. ūüôā



Servings:  2

Preparation Time:30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level:Moderate

Ingredients:

1)       Sardine fish
250 gm
2)       Pearl onion
10 nos
3)       Dried red chilly
5 nos
4)       Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp
5)       Coriander seeds
1 Tbsp
6)       Coconut (grated)
¬Ĺ cup
7)       Tamarind
10 gm
8)       Mustard seeds
¬Ĺ Tsp
9)       Curry leaves
8-10
10)   Vegetable oil
2 Tbsp
11)   Salt
As req

Method:

1)       Heat 1 tbsp oil in a hot pan.
2)       Add 8 nos of pearl onion, 3 nos of red chilli, fenugreek seeds and coriander seeds.
3)       Toast gently for few mins .
4)       Grind the coconut to a paste
5)       Grind them by adding water to fine paste.
6)      Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for 15 mins and extract the paste.
7)      To the same pan which used for roasting pour the tamarind water and let it boil.
8)      Add turmeric powder and salt.
9)      Now add the ground masala paste and mix well.
10)  While the masala is still boiling add the cleaned fish one by one gently.
11)  Turn the heat to low and close lid. Cook for 10 mins.
12)  Now add the coconut paste and cook for another 5 mins.
13)  Transfer the curry to the serving bowl
14)   Heat remaining oil in a separate pan for tadka and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and remaining red chilli respectively
15)  Once mustard seeds splutter fully add chopped pearl onion. Fry till golden brown.
16)  Pour the tadka onto the curry. Serve with steamed rice.


Note:
1) This recipe can be also used for making prawn and any other fish curry.
2) Curry which is one day old tastes the best.
3) Clean the fish by removing its scales, head, tail and gills. Wash it in cold water with little salt