Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mild Malaysian

I do have to apologise for offending anyone who's reading this from SouthEast Asia... Please keep in mind I cook for a family that (until recently) thinks a pinch of ground black pepper in 2 gallons of soup is spicy and hot!

Fortunately, I've (slowly) gotten them to see the good side of spices and their uses in food. The key I've found is not to overdo it, and have plenty of cream and sour cream around to "dampen" the spices if I've miscalculated for their sensitive taste buds.

Can you tell I like to experiment in the kitchen? Huh, CAN YOU? Yes, I do like to experiment in the kitchen. 18 out of 20 times it comes out fine, 1 out of 20 is crap, and 1 out of 20 is DAMNED GOOD TUCKA!

Just a note, this will serve 4 adults with normal appetites. So, like, vary the amounts depending on how many you're serving, eh?

This recipe is one of those "Damned Good Tucka" ones... Hmmmmm, what shall we call it? Think, think, think... Ah! Got it!

Dingo Dave's Spicy Coconut Fish Over Rice

Yeah, that's a good name for a recipe, cool! Normally I like to use fresh stuff in my cooking (no preservatives or "flavour enhancers") but there I times when I have to dip into a jar of something. Fortunately, most everything in jars and cans down here (in Oz) don'ts gots no preservatives and other crap in it.

Here we go, kiddies:

What you knead:

2 or 3 tbsp olive oil (or peanut oil if you have it)

1/4 cup of minced onion
1/2 tsp to 3 tsp chilli powder (your palate, not mine)
1 tsp prepared garlic (or one crushed garlic clove)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (keeps cancer away)
1/2 tsp dried mint leaves
1 tsp prepared ginger (or 1/2 inch grated ginger root)
1 1/2 tsp jarred lemon grass
2 tbsp tamarind paste

1 or 2 tbsp raw sugar

small can of bamboo shoots
a pound of white fish, cut into bite sized chunks (I usually use hake or hoki)
one can of coconut cream (400 mls down here, I think that's 12 oz in the US)
sour cream for garnish (optional, this is in case you have someone who doesn't like spices)
fresh coriander leaves (cilantro for you US'ns) for garnish

cooked long grain rice --hey, you gotta serve it over something!

What you due:

Put the oil in a wok and turn the gas to medium-low. At this point you'll want to start your rice cooking. For the rice I use Basmati or Jasmine, but any long grain will do. Start it cooking as you would normally (18 mins in microwave, eh).

To the hot oil add the next 8 ingredients. You'll notice I separated them so you can easily count to eight. Give the spices a quick stir and after 45 secs to a min add the water from the can of bamboo shoots. Stir it quickly and you'll find you have yourself an AWESOME smelling reddish sauce. Then add the sugar and give it one more quick stir.

The fish pieces (chunks or whatever you'd call them) go in now. Toss them around in the wok to thoroughly coat them in the sauce. Turn the heat down to low.

Pour in the coconut cream and the bamboo shoots. Give it a good stir and then let it simmer gently for 10 mins.

Well, ten min later it's done! And your rice should be done to (did you remember to put the rice in the rice cooker 18 minutes ago?).

Serve it up over a bed of rice, yummy! If you've added extra chilli and someone in the household doesn't like spicy food, then just put a dollop of sour cream over the top of theirs, no worries. Garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander and there ya go.

This is really, really, really tasty and I've been told by the clan (from the Scottish border country) that I can make it any time I'd like to. Keep in mind that these are people that used to break out in a sweat just by looking at a mild chilli pepper.

BONUS: Got some prawns? Add them in the same time you'd add the fish. Got some water chestnuts? Add them in the same time as the bamboo shoots; same goes with any veggies you want to put in, no worries.

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