Stay-Home Cooking #2: Grilled Fish with Homemade Sambal by Cooking Ah Pa
March 22, 2020
What's for dinner? KL's Cooking Ah Pa might be whipping up one of his latest recipes, Grilled Fish with Homemade Sambal. Here, he shares with us how to spice up your next meal for the family.
In his video on his YouTube channel, Cooking Ah Pa splits the cooking into two segments: making the sambal and cooking the fish. For the sambal, you'll need these ingredients:
Bowl of dried chilli, soaked until it's soft
1tbsp of asam paste
1tbsp of turmeric powder
1tbsp of belacan powder (made by pan-frying a block of belacan with no oil, dry-roasting until it becomes a powder, then refrigerate)
Rehydrated dried shrimp (soaked until it's softened)
2cm of blue ginger
2cm of old ginger
4 cloves of garlic
4 cloves of shallots
Light soya sauce
And of course, have a fish ready!
Put all of the plate's ingredients into a blender, spreading them out evenly, finishing with the turmeric powder and the asam paste.
Ah Pa prefers putting oil in place of water before hitting the blend button, because it will take less time to saute the belacan later. The oil might seem excessive, but the amount of oil used later on in the wok can be reduced to make up for it.
Now, it's time to grill the fish, Ah Pa is cooking ikan senangin (threadfin) that's been butterfly-cut and marinated with a bit of salt. While the recipe calls for using an oven, he makes sure to remind us that it is A-OK to pan-fry the fish.
To prepare, preheat the oven for at least 10 minutes from 230 to 250 °C. Put aluminium foil on the oven tray, with the shiny side facing up and a thin layer of oil on top. Then put the skinned fish facing down, pushing the fish around to soak up the oil before setting it down in the middle. Top it off with a bit more oil.
Now put it in the oven for between 15 to 20 minutes, his estimate for a 500g fish. Larger fish might take more time.
Time to work on the paste again. Put a lot of oil into the wok and add in the sambal you made earlier on medium heat. Patiently stir-fry the sambal so that it doesn't burn at the bottom, and add in as much oil as you need to make it easier. Keep at it for a few minutes until the colour deepens, then season it with a pinch of salt and sugar.
Continue stir-frying, then add some light soya sauce, and continue to saute for a couple more minutes, until the sugar caramelises and the colour gets darker. Water can also be added to dilute the sambal and make it wetter.
All that's left is to wait for the fish to cook, take it out, let it rest, and then top it off with the sambal you've painstakingly made. Teach a man to cook a fish and you'll hopefully feed him for many delicious dinners to come!
Many thanks to Cooking Ah Pa for agreeing to share this recipe with EDKL readers.
Cooking Ah Pa
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