Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pan-fried Chilli Fish..!!


Pan-fried Chilli Fish

Dear Readers,I am totally at a loss as to  how to start..Guess this what happens when you stay away from something for too long..My own space is staring back at me with a hostile glare..:D There was a time when I used to spend a major chunk of my time here updating every other day..Words n ideas used to flow in freely n we shared a comfortable rapport,like when you feel when you snuggle with your teddy on lazy times..happy times..:) Some of the friends n family actually started asking me If I am bored or what really happened..Lazy? Tired? No cooking aka starving husband?..:P..Well,have been cooking for sure,but as I mentioned in last post,slightly on the healthy side,n how can the blogger in me thrive without baking(read lots of butter),frying (oodles of oil) n such..I seriously think my oven has gone into a peaceful hibernation mode thinking its owner has left it to rust till next century..Time for a healthy bread I know,but my time seems to have wings now..:p…n as of my laziness,I guess you don't need another proof than the pics here..:D..I cant believe I actually held n clicked my Cannon above that spattering hot pan.:D.

Hope all of you are having good times with some sunny days n food n family ,before the snow actually creeps in.Btw hey,am writing this from a sunlight-deprived land.Snapping pics for the blog is almost impossible,unless you want smug at your shadowy or bleak yellow pics..Its dark time readers,dark times over here..(I  almost expect a Voldermort).Its actually pitch dark by 5 n the days are mostly grave n cloudy n when a ray or 2 or light falls on to the ground,it actually looks like sucked up by the earth..Its better that it snow,white is a better color to look at..:-|

Oh..mm..mmh..so you guys looking for the recipe of this red colored chunks scattered in that almost-dirty(being nice to myself) frying pan..but hey,this is pan-fried Chilli fish..So its got to be lil dirty with oil splats n fried tid bits n all that around your stove..The obvious…But I swear,with the lil bliss that lingers in your tongue after your dinner,you can happily wipe those off with a tissue n a squeeze of Murphy’s Oil Orange  spray..:)


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So,if you are one of those inquisitive being n blinking eyes about the origin n history of this dish,worry not :)..Well,an otherwise long story in short words.Friends X n Y n Z gave some rave reviews about an Indo-Chinese place which we hadn’t been to yet..We both never had nice experiences with Chinese food,except very few (I love PF Changs)..But all those hype got into us n we went on n ordered a LOT of food,out of which the major portion never got into our tummy.I got peace only after getting home n contributing to the web world  some real bad reviews about the place..:X.. We were that disappointed with everything there.Umm..So the connection of the not-so-short story to the Pan –fried Chilli fish is that ,this was one of the over-hyped starter ,which we ordered there.What we got was some reheated (meekly warm),soggy n bland red pieces.But I liked the concept,almost like our Chilli chicken,but the tender fish n healthy fat of it gives a wonderful flavor.

Yea..pretty customizable recipe.Throw in those colored red,yellow,golden,green (are there more) peppers n spring onions n all that..More color,happy eyes ,happy tongue..:)Well,I was out of everything mentioned above.So all I have is fish ,fish n fish n yea..onions too..we are inseparable pals..:)..Go for some nice fillet..skin is a no-no.If you are health nut,Salmon is your choice.Trout fillet is the next best option.Or Halibut..Or Cat fish fillet that I have used here.Cat fish has some good fat n its soft n bursting with flavor.SO I happily traded the health for taste..:) Sigh..!

So lets shoot..:)


1 cat Fish/any fish Fillet sliced into bite size pieces

Make a marinade of :

2 Tbsp AP flour

1.5 Tbsp Corn flour

1/2 Tbsp Pepper Powder

1 tsp Paprika/Red Chilli paste or even Red chilli powder

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste





Sesame oil

1 tsp Red Chilli/pepper flakes

2 large Cloves of Garlic minced

1 inch piece of Ginger-almost 1 Tbsp of thin julienned pieces

1-1.5 C Onions  quartered n slices separated

4-5 Green chilies,slit

Optional-Bell pepper slices n spring onions


1 Tbsp Hot chilli Sauce (like Sriracha)

3/4 Tbsp Soy Sauce

2 tsp Tomato sauce

1 tsp White Vinegar

Corn flour water (2 tsp corn flour dissolved in a cup of water)

Chopped Cilantro






Clean n cut the fish into bite sized pieces.Make a thick paste (only thick enough to make  a coat on the fish) with the ingredients.Egg is an optional addition,which I skipped.

Heat Sesame oil in the frying pan .Dip the fish pieces in the marinade to coat fully n fry in the oil.Shallow or deep,your choice.The fish should be crisp outside.Drain on to paper towels.

After all the fish is fried in the same pan with oil,throw in chilli flakes n fry for few seconds.

Throw in the garlic n onions n sauté’ till soft,yet slightly crisp.In Chinese cooking,everything should be slightly crisp.

At this point you can add the bell peppers n spring onions if using.

Now pour in the sauces,increase heat n keep on sautéing.

Taste n add more chilli/pepper powder if heat is not enough.

When the sauces are blended well ,throw in the fried fish pieces n slit green chillies n mix carefully without breaking the fish.

Simmer n close for a while.

Open the lid,increase heat ,sprinkle vinegar n chopped cilantro n serve ,if you are serving as a starter.

If as a side dish,pour the corn flour water after opening lid n mix n cook for a while till the gravy thickens.

Then mix in vinegar n pop in cilantro.

Serve hot with Chinese fried rice or Noodles or even Roti or Naan.

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Verdict: One awesome dish..I’d love to make it again n again,but the frying part of the game is the slight inhibition,even though I do shallow frying.The fish will be crisp on outside ,but once you bite in,soft n bursting with flavor…!All the mix of sauces n the flavor of ginger n garlic blends well in this dish.Adjust the heat n also keep an eye on salt as sauces are quite salty..In one word a must-try for all sea food lovers ..:) n I say even the fish-haters will be a convert once they taste this n kids,they will LOVE this..less fishy n almost meaty..Yumm-o! :)


Keep your smiles n stay healthy..out of all that flu business..:)


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