Claypot Fish (砂煲鱼)
Claypot cooking is one of my favourites. Years ago when I was still a student in KL, I often frequented hawkers stalls for lunch and dinner. One of the dishes like claypot chicken rice by never failed to catch my attention. I always like my food to be warm when served, and claypot is the best in keeping the heat. Claypot cooking is not only a famous method used in SE Asia, it is also commonly used in several cuisines in Europe.
I bought a claypot not too long ago and have been wanting to use it. I thought of one dish that I used to eat quite a lot when my family and I went to a famous Chinese Seafood restaurant near to my uncle’s place in Kuala Perlis. This uncle of mine was in fishery business. When the catch was good, he would ask us to join him and his family at this particular restaurant, which he knew the proprietor really well. He would bring the best and biggest fish to the restaurant and asked them to prepare the fresh catch! It couldn’t have been fresher than this!
I love fish. One of my favourites is Grouper. Grouper has got really firm meat and it is suitable for stir-frying or braising. I got 2 Groupers when I went to Billingsgate Market not long ago. First thing that came to my mind when I saw grouper was claypot fish.
Claypot fish may sound really simple, I added some shiitake mushrooms, tofu, snow peas, baby corn, chinese cabbage and carrots. A wholesome meal was ready in less than 20 minutes! I think best dishes are always those that have been kept in my memory since I was a kid that never failed to put a smile on my face. I reminisced a lot about all the food that I tasted since childhood! Do you?
For the Claypot Fish (砂煲鱼):
400g-500g grouper or red snapper, cut into chunky pieces
100g tofu, cut into squares
3-4 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and softened
12 snow peas
8 baby corns, halved
4-5 leaves chinese cabbage, roughly chopped
half carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
1-2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chinese rice wine
1 tbsp corn flour
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp oyster sauce
a dash of white pepper
1 tsp corn flour
1 tbsp water
1. Marinate the fish with a pinch of salt.
2. Cut the tofu into squares. Pan fry the tofu with a little bit of oil until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
3. Coat the fish with cornflour, pan fry each piece until slightly golden brown. Set aside.
4. Heat up a pan with some oil. Put in garlic and ginger, fry until fragrance and but brown. Put in chinese rice wine. Add in carrots, chinese cabbage, snow peas, baby corn, and Shiitake mushroom. Stir-fry under low heat for about 4 minutes.
5. Add in water and slowly bring to a boil. Add in fish and tofu. Give it a good stir. Add in seasoning then thicken the sauce with conflour mixture.
6. Heat a claypot in the oven for about 4-5 minutes until hot.
7. Pour in the cook dish into the claypot, serve immediately.