Monday, 19 May 2014

Indian Style Fried Fish : AFF Indian Subcontinent


Frying fish is not my forte. I still fear of the loud sizzling of the hot oil when the fish goes into the pan. And I get ready to run before the spluttering oil gets to me. Cabut......!!!

But last weekend I had the itchy fingers to cook fried fish Indian style. I always prefer my fish fried rather than steamed and better still if it is the spicy variety.

The spice paste is very aromatic and tasty.

I always love fried fish from the Indian restaurant and I was quite excited to try this recipe.  I scaled down the amount of spice paste as I was working with only two generous slices of fish. The recipe called for 1kg of fish slices and I would faint in a heap if I had to fry so much fish.


Making the spice paste was not difficult at all. Last weekend I had already prepared a bottle of ground chilli and putting it together with the other ingredients was a breeze. Although the recipe did not call for it, I fried some curry leaves to add on to the aroma of the fish and also as a garnish. I have a thing for fried curry leaves. Every time I buy food from the Indian restaurant, I will make it a point to pick up the fried curry leaves from whatever dishes that are served.

I love fried curry leaves!

I once caught the Indian server giving me the eye when he saw me fishing out the curry leaves. hee...hee...I also fish out chili padi from curries when I see them poking out of the gravy. I know. I am a naughty customer. I do the same at the chap fan stall - I fish out the spring onions that they scatter atop the fried taugeh (beansprouts). Same goes for the corriander leaves on top of any dish at the restaurant. Now you see it, now you don't. I am the garnish pincher :)


The fish slices are marinated with the spice paste for about half an hour or more before frying. It was fortunate that I had these two slices of fish in the freezer courtesy of my dad. Thanks, Pa! They flew back with me from Terengganu during the Chinese New Year. And my curry plant is doing very well, sprouting new shoots like nobody's business. So convenient!

The fish slices marinating.

It is actually quite fun frying curry leaves. You heat the oil and drop a small handful of leaves into the hot oil. It goes into a sizzling frenzy for a few seconds and then silence. That's when they are ready and you dish them out drain on paper towels.


I survived the frying ordeal and may have burnt the spices a little bit. But oh, I loved the fried fish! Great flavors from the garlic, ginger and spices. If you like the spicy fried fish that you usually eat at the Indian restaurant, do give this a try. It may not be exactly the same thing but you will give yourself a pat on the back for frying such a delicious and flavorful fish!










Restaurant Style Fried Fish
Recipe source : Banana Leaf Temptations (page 104)
(My notes and adaptations in red)

Ingredients :
- 1kg fish slices (I used 2 slices of fish)
- 8 cloves garlic (4 cloves)
- 2cm piece ginger (1cm)
- 3 tbsp ground chilli (1tbsp)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric (1/2 tsp)
- 2 tsp ground cumin (1 tsp)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (1 tbsp)
- yellow coloring (I omitted)
- 2 tsp salt (1/2 tsp)
- 2 tsp freshly ground aniseed (1 tsp)
- oil for deep frying

Method :
1. Put all the ingredients except the fish and the oil into a mixing bowl.
2. Add enough water to make a paste (In my case, the lemon juice was enough to make a paste)
3. Smear paste on the fish slices and set aside for about 1/2 hour or more.
4. Heat oil for deep frying.
5. Fry the fish slices on both sides until brown.


I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest - Indian Subcontinent hosted by Chef and Sommelier.




This post is also linked to Cook-Your-Books #12 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

34 comments:

  1. If your fish is not too wet, there will not be much loud spluttering, just a bit. Yours looks real good though.

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    1. Thank you, Arthur! I'll make sure I pat dry my fish next time if I am frying them plain.

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  2. When I see fish and Indian, I thought of Indian fish curry, wah, that one I can eat 5 plates of mountain rice using my hand, and I could smell my hand whole day even after washing! Haha.. Your fried fish looks so good, ikan goring berempah yer? Normally I only hear ayam goring berempah.. You know which part I like about fish? The skin! I can only eat the skin with rice, and leave out the flesh, call me crazy.. But if whole fish is served, I normally aim the “yue lam” (belly) and head! Yummy, full of collagen goodness..

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    1. I say, Louiz! We are really twins lah! I also love the fish skin, belly part and head too! The belly is so nice and soft and the ooey gooey parts of the head is really nice! At the Japanese restaurant I like the crispy salmon skin sushi. Aiyo, that one I can wallop the whole serving all by myself (8 pieces)!

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  3. This looks like it would be super fragrant! It looks super tempting, but I think I will stick to my no deep frying rule... haha too scared of oil splatter. :P

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    1. Yen, hah..hah..in that case you have to eat at the restaurant. I had to clean my kitchen after this session :(

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  4. The other day got Indonesian cuisine, today is Indian cuisine. I like this fried fish, at least I can eat, hehe.

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    1. Hi Jessie! You will like this fried fish. Can make it not too spicy.

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  5. Please invite me if you are cooking this dish again.......so i make you get use to frying fish and you wont fear of frying fish again. (I hate frying fish too.....my hands and fingers all kena hot oil whenever I fry fish). I do yell out loud in the kitchen if it splatter to my "beautiful hands".....hehehe joking!!

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    1. hah..hah..hah..sure Mel, anytime! Will cook extra rice too :)

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  6. For me, frying anything is not my forte, not just fish :)) Yours look very good. I only get to eat this when we visit Indian restaurants.

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    1. hee..hee..I actually dislike deep frying but sometimes I have to do it to enjoy this type of food. In fact my hair and clothes smelt of the fried fish!

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  7. awww, I like this fried fish.. no use what this fish is (as all fish look the same to me, haha) but I remember we always have something similar at home, though just simple soy sauce and not so much of spices - best to go with porridge!! and yours, oh my!! looks super delicious la, all the spices and those crunchy thingy on top, this would be so nice to go with rice, and I can imagine the chunks if firm fish flesh, yummy yummy!!

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    1. Hi SK! Me too can't recognise fish hah...hah...As long as it is fish, just wallop. I like the deep fried soya sauce fish at the restaurant. Very fragrant and tasty. If they fry it extra crispy, I will also eat the crispy fins and tail. Crunch...crunch...

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  8. I am guilty of not submitting any post for this Indian theme yet, I find curries such a chore to prepare lol! This fish is my favourite too and love to eat it with banana leaf rice...so sedap:D

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    1. Jeannie, I totally understand! I took it as a challenge and I am glad I did it!

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  9. Hi Phong Hong, yummy Indian style fried fish especially this aromatic marinade. This fish that you used here is my favourite too. I like fish fillets more, afraid of fish bones.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! Me too don't like picking out bones when eating. A few times I accidentally swallowed the bone and it was scary!

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  10. Wow! This is smell good and tasty! Hungry , hungry . hungry!

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  11. Hi Phong Hong, Fish fry looks yummy yummy and tempting.

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    1. Thank you, Swasthi! Indian food rocks!

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  12. Hi Phong Hong, I love spicy fried fish but seldom fried it at home.... because lazy of cleaning up after cooking :D Please inform me when you cook this dish next time. Ok?

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  13. Hi Phong Hong, congrats that you've "survived the frying ordeal". The spices on the fried fish looks very fragrant and spicy ... ha ha I like the spice paste without the fish cos I don’t eat fish. But I take Fish & Chips and fish balls ... I may try fried fish balls with some Indian spices ^-^.

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    1. Karen, you are a strange one hah..hah...you don't eat fish but you eat fish and chips and fishballs. I am guessing you don't like picking out fish bones! I think if this dish uses fish fillet, you would most likely eat it :)

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  14. Hi Phong Hong,
    I love dishes like this! And fried fish with spices is one of my favourites! And I am just like you, the "garnish-person"! I love all garnishes, the more the better!

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    1. Hi Joyce! If we dined together, we will be fighting for the garnish. Oh dear! hah..hah...

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  15. I have a soft spot for fried fish too but don't like the mess of frying it. This fish looks incredibly tasty! Love the fried curry leaves too. Must be so fragrant!

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    1. Hi Wok and Spoon! The fish was very fragrant and tasty. But there was a lot of cleaning up as there was quiet a bit of oil spatter :(

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  16. PH, the fish looks really yummy, so nice.

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I was so proud of myself hah...hah...

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  17. Hi Phong Hong, this fish dish is fantastic. Look really super duper. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Best regards.

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    1. Hi Amelia! I loved the fish a lot and won't mind cooking it again :)

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