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Malaysian Fish in Black Bean Sauce

November 1, 2013

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Life was much simpler growing up in Malaysia. Nothing was meant to be in a rush, whether it was visiting friends or having standard eating practices. Our neighbors, friends and even the grocery store that we visited knew and trusted us. In my school canteen, there were varieties of food vendors whipping up fresh foods during breakfast, lunch and tea time. My parents gave me a stipend of $1.50 a day. With that money, I would purchase a plate of hot charred noodles at 75 cents. And when I saved enough money, I would be able to buy a more expensive plate of chicken and rice.

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Having these delicious, quick and fresh hot meals was something I looked forward to each day. When I came to America, I experienced the contrary. While attending college, I was exposed to pre-packaged foods in boxes and instant microwavable meals. I had no idea how to enjoy cold cuts and multi-colored cheese that came in vacuum sealed plastic bags, which my American friends gobbled as if they were foods from a royal banquet. Hamburger meats were made in batches. Fish was cooked to the point that it tasted like a rubbery substance. And nothing cost under $3.50. Even in Central Florida!

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Time has passed. People have changed. Attention spans have decreased. Cultural values and identities have been bartered for the modern fast-and-easy lifestyle. People are enjoying life less and less, and working on mundane activities more and more. The world has become one saturated marketplace with inactive people and fast food joints. For what? Making our lifestyles easier? I think not.

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Despite the fast paced world we live in, I think, some things shouldn’t be negotiated. Good meals fall in that category. I, for one, am never satisfied with instant meals, nor bother with pre-packaged meals – even if it says organic! If you are in a hurry and need to cook something quick, here’s a great recipe. And if you are not into fish, you can use tofu, diced chicken, beef or pork.

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Malaysian Fish in Black Bean Sauce

Serves 4

1 1/2 lb flounder fillets

Flour for dusting

Peanut oil for frying

2 Garlic cloves, finely minced

1 piece of ginger (5-8 cm), finely minced

White part of scallions, finely diced

1/8 cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of sambal belachan

1/4 cup of Shaoxing wine or rice wine

2-3 tablespoons of fermented black beans

White pepper to taste

Method:

1) Fill a wide pan with peanut oil for deep-frying.

2) Dust the flour onto the fish fillets.

3) When the oil is heated, gently place the fish fillets into the pan.

4) While the fish is cooking, being a medium size pan to heat with 2 tablespoons of peanut oil.

5) Add the garlic, ginger and white parts of the scallions into the pan. Saute for about 2-3 minutes.

6) Add the sambal belachan, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine.

7) Toss in the black beans and stir for another two minutes until a thick consistency is achieved.

8) Sprinkle white pepper to taste.

9) Turn the heat off and let rest.

10) Once the bottom of the fillets begin to turn golden brown, carefully flip the fish over.

11) When the fish is cooked (approximately 5-9 minutes), remove them from the oil and set them on paper towel on a sheet tray.

12) For plating, place the fish on a long rectangular plate. Pour the sauce over.

13) Garnish with scallions.

Additional reads:

Three Hungry Tummies: Steamed Fish With Black Bean Sauce

Rasa Malaysia: Stir-fried Fish fillet With Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Bon Appetit: Shrimp and Mushrooms in Spicy Black Bean Oyster Sauce

Serious Eats: Dinner Tonight; chinese Steamed Trout With Fermented Black Beans

STEAMY KITCHEN: Steamed fish with Black Bean Sauce

 

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2 Comments
  1. Helpful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site unintentionally, and I am surprised why this coincidence did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

    • chefmo73 permalink

      Thanks for stopping by and happy reading. I’m glad you liked it

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