Stuffed Fish with Chilli
1 kg Torpedo Scad (Ikan Cencaru) - 4 big or 5 medium sized
1 1/2 tsp salt
Oil to shallow fry fish
340g fresh red chillies
2 stalks lemongrass
10g shrimp paste
1/2 tsp salt or according to taste
4 tbsp oil
- Roughly slice shallots and chillies. Discard dried outer layers of lemongrass and thinly slice about 8 to 10cm of white bulbous part. Blend together in blender or food processor until a fine paste.
- Heat 4 tbsp oil or enough to stir fry blended chilli paste with shrimp paste over medium low heat until fragrant and oil breaks through. Season with salt.
- Scoop onto a plate and leave to cool.
- Remove gills and entrails of fishes by pulling them out of the stomach, trim and wash. Do not slit the stomachs. To peel the scute, make a shallow incision on the top front and sides and use a folded kitchen paper to hold and peel it off. Slit each side starting from the back along the skeletal bones towards the stomach cavity. Rub salt all over including the stomach cavities and slits. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Stuff cooled chilli paste deep into the slits and stomach cavities to avoid slipping out and burning during frying.
- Heat enough oil to shallow fry the stuffed fishes. Fry each side for about 2 minutes over high heat until nicely browned and cooked.
Squeeze lemon or lime juice over the chilli stuffing and serve as a side dish to rice with fruit and vegetables.
Or just enjoy it as a snack by wrapping in greens.