Monday, July 25, 2011
Currently I’m living in a town where the food sucks. Sucks BIG TIME!! Wedding dinners here are either avoided by the younger generation or are forced by parents to be held at community halls, which is a far cry from prettily decorated dining halls in cities. Usually KK folks travel to Sungai Siput for restaurant cooked meals and they taste a lot lot better and are a lot cheaper than in KK.
This dish that I’m sharing today is a very weird dish that I once ate at a restaurant in Sungai Siput's Tai Chong. I was surrpised at the ingredient, wax apple. And to my surprise the taste and texture complemented well with the fish. With lovely wax apples bought from Jusco, I tried to recreate this dish, and I’m glad I did quite a good job on it.
Wax Apples or some call water apple, is a true local fruit. Well, papayas and pineapple grow here, but they are not true locals. Papayas came from the American continent and pineapples are indigenous to South America. So not every locally grown fruit are true locals.
When I was a kid, my neighbours had wax apple trees. My side neighbour and my back neighbour. The side neighbour's tree had pink smallish tart fruits and my back neighbour had one that grew white fruits with huge seeds. I guess the white version is very very hard to come by nowadays. It's not a blessing to have neighbours having such trees. How we dread each fruiting season. Our compound will smell like a dumpster with all the rotting fruits. Because the fruits are tart are not very nice to eat, unless you dip them in rojak sauce and you can't eat all the fruits from the huge tree, they are left to drop and waste away. 1/3 of the pink tree's foliage grows into our compound, so, 1/3 of their fruits rot in our place. You may wonder why we didn't just sweep them away.. Well, they dropped into the fenced up area that we grew our mango trees. it's mulchy and not a nice place to walk in, so bear with it. These trees also attracted lots of bees, not forgetting weaver ants. You can't imagine how happy we were when they decided to chop down the tree.
These wax apples I'm using today are a new breed from Thailand that we have only seen in the last 10 years. It's big and sweet. I think no one will want to leave them on the tree to drop and rot. I won't mind if my neighbour's tree grows into my garden :p I'll just pick them off and eat. No complains whatsoever.
Stir Fried Fish Slices with Wax Apple 水蓊炒鱼片
Recipe source: Wendyywy
Inspired by: Tai Chong Restaurant, Sungai Siput
350gm boneless fish fillets (dory or grouper will work fine)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ShaoXing wine
Dash of pepper
1 Tbsp egg white
½ tsp sesame oil
Mix fish with everything except the sesame oil. When everything is well incorporated, add in sesame oil and leave it for 30 minutes.
3 sprigs of spring onion
2 large wax apples
1 Tbsp ShaoXing wine
1/3 cup water
2/3 tsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1/3 tsp sugar
Good dash of pepper
1. Cut spring onion into 2 inch lengths, separating the white and green parts. (should have 1 large handful of green parts)
2. Cut wax apple into half and trim the base. Slice into wedges.
3. Mix water, cornstarch, salt, sugar and pepper together. Set aside.
4. Heat a wok until very very hot. Put in 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and smear sides of wok with oil and make sure spatula is well oiled with the hot oil.
5. Put in white parts of green onion and fry for few seconds and put in marinated fish. Gently spread fish around but don’t move it too much. Let it cook for a while before moving and flipping them.
6. When fish seems cooked (if there is liquid oozing from the fish, then let liquid evaporate first), put Shaoxing wine around the fish, and let it evaporate .
7. Put in wax apple wedges and toss.
8. Pour in cornstarch mixture and cook until it thickens.
9. Put in green parts of spring onion, give it a final toss and dish up.