Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Basa Fish Fillets in Sweet and Sour Tamarind Sauce

I came home from work yesterday feeling lazy and tired after 1 hour and 15 minutes of commuting. I wanted something quick and easy. I looked in the fridge and found frozen basa fillets and a yellow bell pepper and so sweet and sour fish immediately came to mind. With just a couple more ingredients I was able to whip up this amazingly simple but delicious dish in about 30 minutes. The fillets were coated with corn starch and fried till they're crispy on the outside, but still soft and succulent on the inside, then covered in a simple sweet and sour sauce that I made using tamarind paste. So good...I'm definitely making this for dinner again on the weekend.

2-3 basa frozen fillets, defrosted
1 cup of corn starch
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
Enough oil for deep frying

 For the sauce:
1 onion, diced
2 slices of ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red chili for a little heat, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon of tamarind paste (check the Thai aisle in your local Asian supermarket)
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
1½ cup of chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon of corn starch for thickening

Heat up the oil in a wok or a pot. Meanwhile, sprinkle the fillets liberally with salt and pepper then mix them with the beaten egg. Put the corn starch and fillets into a big zip-lock bag or a plastic bag and then give the bag a good shake so that the fillets are completely coated with the corn starch.

When the oil is hot enough, gently slide the fillets in and fry them for a few minutes until they're slightly brown and crispy. Then "fish" them out and place them on the serving platter. Throw out the oil but leave about 1 tablespoon for the sauce.

To make the sauce,stir-fry the onion, ginger, garlic, chilies and pepper until fragrant. Mix the tamarind paste, stock/water, soy sauce, sugar and corn starch and then pour it in. Let it come to a boil and give it a taste. If it's too sour, add a little more sugar.

Pour the sauce over the fish fillets and serve with some hot steamed rice.