Search This Blog

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sichuan Style Fish

Let me start by saying that this is no Sichuan dish – rather it is in the flavour of those dishes I have tasted at Sichuan House and PepperChilli.  It uses XO Sauce which I love pairing with seafood dishes, and also Chinese 5 spice powder, which adds another flavour element not usually found in Sichuan kitchens.  Nevertheless this vibrant concoction does wonders for the palate and thanks to the addition of Sichuan pepper, it does its magic as it tingles on your tongue.

The fish I have used is Red Snapper which is less expensive than its "Pinky" cousin and less sought after.  I guess I see it as doing my bit for the overfished species and ensuring their long existence.  Without getting too environmentally philosophical Red Snapper actually tastes considerably good and works perfectly in this very spicy dish.  Also, whilst boneless fillets of any white fish also works, I just feel that using the whole fish gives a much more flavoursome end product.  Just be sure to get the fishmonger to clean the fish and chop it into cutlets so that it takes out all the hard, and sometimes messy work.

1x 1kg Red Snapper, in cutlets
1-2 Eggs, beaten
½ cup x Cornflour
½ cup x Riceflour (this is the Asian stuff not the coarser baking variety)
1-2 tsp x Chinese 5 Spice Powder
½ tsp x Salt
½ tsp x Sichuan Pepper, ground
Oil for deep frying, 1 x tbsp extra for the sauce
I picked up a bottle of this brand of XO Sauce at my 
Asian grocer and it was exceptionally spicy.  Try and get
your hands on it for this recipe, you'll love it I'm sure
3-4 Dried Red Chillies,
1 tsp x Sichuan Pepper
1 x Red Onion, diced
1 x Bottle XO Sauce (see picture)
2 Tbsp x Oyster Sauce
2 x Carrots, diced
2 x Zucchinis, diced
10 x Green Beans, sliced finely
3-4 Dried Red Chillies,
1 tsp x Sichuan Pepper
Water, added as required
1 x Cucumber, diced 

Combine the cornflour and riceflour with the 5 spice powder and salt and pepper
Dip the fish cutlets into the beaten egg
Coat the cutlets with the flour mixture and dust of any excess flour
Deep fry the fish pieces in batches for at least 4-5 minutes per batch
When the fish is golden brown remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper
Heat a large wok until smoking, then add a tbsp of oil
Quickly add in the dry chillies and the Sichuan peppercorns
Stir fry for 30 seconds then remove from the wok
Add the diced onion and stir gently to soften
Then add the other vegetables
Now pour in the XO and oyster sauces
Add a little water to thin out slightly and bring to the boil
Return the fish, chillies and peppercorns to the wok and fold through to coat with sauce
Tip out into a large dish and serve immediately
Garnish generously with the diced cucumber

"Chinese 5 Spice Powder is an amazing spice.  It is one of those spices that I keep on hand to add to dishes that need a little zing.  It works great as a background spice in this fish dish and also in fried chicken dishes.  The 5 spices  found in this mixture are usually Star Anise, Cinnamon, Clove, Fennel and Sichuan Pepper - which is why I guess I goes well in a Sichuan style dish"


Adrienne said...

too busy to post neil?!

Adrienne said...

this font is not so great...

hi! missing you at work ;)

ngizee said...

Hi Adi. I been M.I.A. for while now but you have given me the push I needed to get blogging again. Plus I just had a look at the stats and the blog had 580 page views last month and that's without me posting any new content. That's enough inspiration for sure. New posts will be up shortly. Catch up with ya soon!