There is something incredibly therapeutic about a mortar and a pestle, Oriental spice and condiments.
I had bought some rawas fillets, a sea fish, from Jude’s Cold Storage at Pali Naka, Bandra recently at Rs 200 (4 USD) for the lot. This fish was fresh and they said was from the day’s catch.
I sautéed some of the fish with South African Peri Peri sauce, SA red pepper and Australian bush salts the other night. The pairing turned out to be pretty good and the quality of the fish excellent. A quick fix dish after work.
Today I decided to cook the rest of the fish in a Thai style. Not from any recipe. But using sauces, condiments and herbs which are used quite a bit in Thai cooking. And the mortar and pestle that I lugged all the way back from Chiang Mai.
I tossed up a quick egg fried rice to go with it.
Here are the recipes:
Thai Styled Rawas
- Take about 200 g rawas fillets. Now the thing with rawas is that it breaks very easily. So cut it into small cubes for sanity. Use a flat pan while cooking as the fish becomes easier to manage
- Marinate the rawas in about 3 tablespoons of Thai Sriracha sauce. Sriracha is an allegedly hot Thai chilli sauce which is actually kid stuff for most Indian palates. I picked up the Sriracha at an Asian Store at Sydney but you would get it here too. Add a tablespoon of Thai chilli paste and a teaspoon of honey. The Thais use palm sugar to sweeten dishes. I bought the chilli paste at Chiang Mai but saw it at Oz too. Most of the sauces would be available at stores such as Regal, Sante and Vijay Stores at Pali Market, Bandra and Nature’s Basket too. Keep the marinated fish in the fridge for half an hour.
- Thai paste – put about an inch of finely chopped ginger, 7,8 basil leaves, 7,8 round Thai eggplants and 2,3 Kaffir lime leaves. I got all of this at Lallu’s at Pali Market. Pound these in the mortar and pestle till you get a rough paste
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan. We use rice oil these days. It’s apparently healthier
- Once the fish is hot put the fish in the pan. Rawas breaks easily so use your fingers or a spoon to put them gently on to the pan. One at a time
- Turn the fish cubes over one by one after it cooks on one side and add in the Thai paste and season with some fish sauce
- Let it cook on a high flame for 2 min.
- Reduce the flame and turn the fish over one by one again.
- Another two minutes and you are done
My heart is never into ‘eating’ fish. The small portion that I tries gave me a fair bit of creative satisfaction. K, the fish eater in the family, lapped up the rest even though it was a tad salty. The saltiness was due to adding salt AND fish sauce. Just the latter would do
Chinese egg fried rice
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok. I used rice oil instead of the Chinese favourite of sesame oil
- Once the oil heats add some crushed garlic
- Then break an egg in it and scramble it by stirring it with a ladle
- Add a bowl of cooked rice
- Then add a teaspoon of shrimp sauce for seasoning, a pinch of ajino moto, a teaspoon each of soy sauce and vinegar. I didn’t have any vinegar at home so used some Lebanese lemon powder. You could use salt instead of shrimp sauce
- Stir the rice for a minute
- Add some crunchy vegetables. All I had at home were spring onions and a few bits of capsicum. Shredded cabbage & carrots would be nice
- Stir for a minute and you are ready
I’ve been making a lot of stir fried Hakka noodles off late as they are so quick to put together. The rice was a nice change.