Showing posts with label Stuffed Fish with Chilli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stuffed Fish with Chilli. Show all posts

Stuffed Fish with Chilli - a special Malaysian style of eating fish that is fragrant and spicy.

Fishes are lovely to look at especially the colourful ones; nutritious and tasty too. Recently, I decided to visit a park which I had often frequented before but have not done so for the past year. I was initially pleased to see that it was quite well maintained with many people already exercising, line dancing and jogging.  And I had thought that there would only be a few early birds like me!  I had a pleasant time until I went over to the lake and was greatly disappointed to see the water murky with only a few fishes swimming forlornly and pitifully around!  It used to be a beautiful lake with myriad of colourful fishes joggling and jostling each other for bits of bread from visitors. It was a wonderful sight then!

I went to the market after that to scout out the fishes and that trip made up for the disappointment at the lake because the fishes that morning looked fresh and inviting, especially the Torpedo Scad or Hardtail Scad shiny in their armour of hard scutes. I bought a few varieties and decided to cook Stuffed Fish with Chilli with the Torpedo Scad and which I am sharing the recipe today. It is not the best of fishes but when cooked this way, it tastes good. There is another type of stuffing made from coconut but I will share that on another day.

There are two ways to prepare this type of fish.  One way is to peel off the hard scutes or skin exposing the flesh which will have a crispy texture after frying. Peeling can be quite difficult and tricky at first. There are some fishmongers who will provide this extra service sometimes. Another easier way is to fry without peeling which then makes it easy to remove but the flesh will be tender instead of crispy. You can see the difference between the peeled and unpeeled forms below. Although Torpedo Scud is commonly used in this recipe, other types of whole fleshy fish can also be used. 

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
400g shallots
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.


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