Archive | Spicy RSS feed for this section

Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed Chillies) with Cheese

1 Sep

(I did not use a filter on this)

Ok, I know what you’re thinking… That’s not REAL Mexican, look at all that cheese. C’mon – in Mexico they’d dip these babies in batter and deep fry ’em. This is the healthy(ish), cheese lovers version. It is also super quick to make.

The long, banana chillies (as we call them Australia) are in season at the moment. They’re crunchy, sweet and vary in colour from bright red, to yellow or green. I got a bag full for $4 recently and had lots of cheese at home and some leftover Enchilada Sauce. We just had simple cheese stuffed chillies, but there are lots of tips at the bottom of this post for how you could change it up a bit. They are another great way to use up leftovers.

This dish is all in one pot, in the oven. In addition, all you need is a packet of tortillas, or some Mexican Rice, a little guacamole or sour cream and some extra hot sauce for the chilli desperados among us. Oh, and salad, I guess. If you must.

Here’s what you’ll need…

4-6 long, large ‘banana’ chillies

Approx two cups Enchilada Sauce

Approx 2-2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (nothing fancy or strong flavoured, just regular mild cheddar)*

That’s it!!

Here’s what you do…

Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees celsius.

1. Prepare the chillies: With a pairing knife, make an incision width-ways in the pepper just under the stalk. Then Make a long incision down one-side (the same side as the cut at the top) of the chilli, making sure not to cut all the way through to the other side. Try to wedge your fingers in the chilli to scrape out most of the seeds. There will be a clump of them at the top near the stalk. Do your best to get these out. Rinse under the tap to get rid of loose seeds, pat dry and set in your flat oven-proof baking dish.

2. Stuff the chillies with the cheese. Don’t worry if they look messy. Save a little cheese for sprinkling on top at the end.

3.  Pour over the Enchilada Sauce and place dish in the oven. Bake for around 20 minutes or until peppers are soft, the sauce is hot and your cheese has melted and started browning a little.

4. Serve with plenty of hot tortillas to wrap pieces of yummy peppers, and mop up the sauce. Alternatively, serve with Mexican Rice, beans, salad and accompaniments such as sour cream, guacamole, fresh lemon and coriander for a more ‘complete’ meal at a dinner party or family gathering.

Muy rico!

* You can use other cheeses if you like: a combination of queso fresco, fetta, ricotta, cottage cheese, anything really!

Other suggestions for this dish…

  • Leftover chilli con carne
  • Some shredded meat (like this pulled pork I make for tacos),
  • Chopped and fried chorizo sausage
  • Some beans or re-fried beans

Let me know if you have other ideas or a great chilles rellenos recipe! Love sharing!

Advertisements

Hot Mango Jam

16 Aug

Last summer I was given two shopping bags full of beautiful, ripe mangoes from a friend’s tree. Lucky us! We ate mangoes for days. It isn’t an Aussie summer without at least a daily session with a ripe, sweet, slightly tangy, juicy mango. You end up with an orange smear around your mouth, fibre stuck in your teeth, sticky hands (and forearms if it’s a super juicy one) and a big smile on your face.

We had so many mangoes I decided to try making a chutney. Seeing they were so ripe and soft, it really turned out like a jam. It is sweet, a little sour, fragrant and spicy! It is not like traditional mango chutney made with under-ripe mangoes, with firm chunks and a sticky consistency. But it is fantastic with curries, grilled meats or even a firm cheddar and crackers!

Here’s what you’ll need…

4 very large mangoes, cut up roughly

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups brown vinegar

1 sliced brown onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon grated ginger

2 hot chillies, chopped

5 cardamom pods, crushed

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 tablespoon currants (optional)

1/2 tablespoon oil

Here’s what you do…

Note! You will need to have pre-prepared some jars for storage. I used good quality, recycled canning jars with pop-seal lids. If you need help with the process of preparing jars for preserves, click here.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger until golden brown. Add the mustard seeds and stir until they start to pop. Add remaining spices and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring. Add the sugar and vinegar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the mango and stir. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until a thick consistency is reached.

Take off the heat and carefully spoon the mixture into your sterilised jars and screw the lids on while still hot. Allow to cool on the bench and then store in a cool, dark place for at least a week before eating. I made about 3 medium sized jars from this recipe.

I opened the last jar last night, and it is August now. It had developed so nicely and was better than the first and second jars we ate. Be sure to store in the refrigerator after opening.

This is so good with curry. Try my easy Biryani recipe.

Cheats Chicken Biryani

16 Aug

This is a quick mid-week alternative to a proper biryani. Serves 4.

Here’s what you’ll need…

2 brown onions, sliced

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon panch phoran (from your Indian grocer)

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1 chopped tomato

2 cups chicken stock or water

salt

500 grams chicken thigh meat, cut up or whole

2 cups vegetables (your choice)

2 cups basmati rice

Slivered almonds, coriander, chutney/pickles, raita.

Here’s what you do…
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. In a large saucepan (with a tight fitting lid), heat the oil/ghee. Fry one onion, the garlic and ginger until it starts to turn golden brown. Add spices and cook for 2-3 minutes. Put the rice in the boiling water and stir, leave to boil for around 5 minutes. Just after you put the rice on, add chicken, tomato and stock/water and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the vegetables and stir. Strain the rice (par-cooked), and layer it on top of the curry. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat to low. Allow to cook for further 10-15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Try not to open the lid and let the steam out too many times! This will increase the cooking time needed! Alternatively, if your saucepan is oven-proof, you can place the whole thing, covered, in the oven at about 180 degrees celsius.

I like to garnish the top with a fried onion (sweet), some toasted slivered almonds (crunchy), a sprinkling of turmeric (pretty) or saffron infused ghee (expensive) and some coriander. But you could add raisins for sweetness, more or other toasted nuts, mint, chopped cucumber and tomato. Anything you fancy!

Serve with a dollop of fresh yoghurt or raita and some pickles and chutneys. We had ours with my Spicy Mango Jam.

This is not an authentic Biryani and my Mum will likely disapprove as her Biryani is highly superior! But it is ready in 30 minutes and can be made with pretty much any curry. Only two pots and a chopping board to wash up and you’ll have yummy leftovers for lunch.

two4six8! Sorry I started eating before I took a snap. I was soooo hungry!

P.S. A fellow blogger is hosting ‘Chicken Week’ on their blog – check out all the yummy recipes. There is a One Pot Chicken Dinner with olives and tomatoes that looks scrumptious (if curry isn’t your thing)!

Actually, this blog has advertised my post – isn’t that nice of them! chefdehomebadge_featuredbadge_transparent

Chilli Chocolate Cake ❤

14 Aug

So I’m STILL really busy and this is cheeky – but I don’t have a lot of time for inventing. This cake recipe was from a great show that was screening on SBS television a few months back called Spice Trip. I tried this cake without the tequila and loved it so much I made it for our wedding day, along with a few other favourites as part of a cake banquet for our guests. I chose this because it is super duper quick and easy. No beatermix required. One bowl, a spoon and a whisk. Here is the link to the recipe
http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/really-easy-chocolate-cake-chilli-salt-and-tequila

I undercook this cake because I’m always worried about turning out a frisbee and wasting the good chocolate I use to make it. It is gooey the first day (amazingly delicious served warm out of the oven), and it kind of sets by the second day and is moist, firm and superb! I recommend covering loosely with foil for the last five or ten minutes and whatever you do don’t open the oven door to sneak a peak or you’ll get a pancake. Opening the oven door too early in the cooking process will cause your cake to collapse.

Here are some wedding snaps. I’ll have to ask my sister for the Russian Tea Cakes recipes.

1004640_10152075427593761_647335031_n

942725_10152075427748761_1130278602_n

Chipotle Prawn Tacos with Guacamole & Chargrilled Corn and Chilli Salsa

14 Aug

This the same recipe as for Chipotle Fish Tacos except for the salsa…

All I did was chargrill some corn and large red chillies in a griddle pan on high heat, no oil. This would also work perfectly on the BBQ. Cut the corn off the cob, peel the blackened skin off the chillies and chop them up. Mix the corn, chillies, some lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, a little salt and pepper. Mash some avocado with coriander, lime, salt and pepper – or however you like it.

Arriba!

Sorry for the speed blogging btw. I’m still studying and life’s too hectic to indulge in super long posts and super long recipes. This recipe is as yummy as anything complicated and long. Promise.

Oh! And why don’t you try this for dessert… Chilli Chocolate Cake

Tortilla Soup or ‘Sopa Azteca’

22 Jan

IMG_8909

This soup isn’t bold and strong but rather mild and delicate, but I promise that after your third or fourth mouthful you’ll be absolutely loving it. There are a few ingredients in this soup that may be quite hard to find in some places – in particular, the pasilla chillies which are typically used to enhance the fragrance and texture of the soup. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t have them. Nor does it matter if you don’t have any enchilada sauce to add. It is nice the way I make it but if you conduct a basic google search for tortilla soup you will soon see that there are literally hundreds of different versions of this soup. It’s just the basic idea that I love. I’ve put a note on substitutions and variations on the theme at the bottom of this recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need

Serves 6 as an entree or 4 as a main

1 cup vegetable oil

6 small corn tortillas

1 dried pasilla chilli, stem and seeds removed, sliced

1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 litre chicken stock

1 small chicken breast or 6 chicken tenders

1 cup enchilada sauce

1 ripe avocado, diced

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 tablespoons or around 50 grams mild crumbly feta, crumbled

1 lime, quartered

Steps…

1. Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan to a good frying temperature – around 185 celsius, 365 fahrenheit

2. Cut tortillas into 1 inch strips and fry in the hot oil. Drain on paper towel or in a colander. Set aside.

3. Tip out most of the oil except about 2 tablespoons. Fry the pasilla chillies for about 20 seconds. Drain on paper towel and when cooled crumble the chillies slightly to break them up. Set aside.

4. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent. Add chicken stock and enchilada sauce along with chicken. Simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked through – 10-20 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and shred or cut into pieces.

5. To serve, you can either put out all of the garnishes and let people serve themselves at the table, or divide the tortilla strips between shallow bowls and top with a small amount of each garnish. Pour two or three ladles of hot soup into the bowl and enjoy!

Substitutions…

Use mild cheddar instead of the feta. It goes melty and delicious. If you have a local deli that sells queso fresco – this is traditional and delicious.

Cooked black beans, kidney beans, or even leftover re-fried beans are tasty and could replace the chicken.

Any vegetable can be added to the soup – chayote/choko, capsicum, potato, zucchini or squash are all nice.

A sprinkle of cayenne pepper instead of the pasilla chilli would be fine if you don’t have a Mexican importer nearby.

Any other suggestions? Add them in the comments section! 

Enchilada Sauce! WHO CAN? MEXICAN!

22 Jan

IMG_8871

I made this recently for family. We used it in both the first and second courses of a Mexican feast – a ladle full added to chicken broth to liven-up Sopa de Tortilla and smothered over pulled pork stuffed tortillas, sprinkled with cheese and cooked under a hot grill to make super tasty Enchiladas. You can also hike up the heat factor in this sauce and bottle it as a hot condiment for all manner of dishes and snacks – on eggs, added to fresh salsa/pico de gallo, on steaks

. It keeps for ages in a sterilised jar in the fridge.

Here’s what you’ll need…

… to make about 1 litre of sauce…

Around 500 grams fresh, ripe tomatoes (any variety), roughly chopped

Two small onions, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled

3-4 sprigs thyme, or coriander with roots attached

1/2 cup water

salt

1/2 – 1 whole habañero chilli**

75 grams butter

** These chillies are the dark red and bright yellow ones pictured above. They are EXTREMELY HOT and have a delicious sweet, nutty flavour. Be warned – wear gloves while handling these chillies and if you are not used to spicy food, perhaps you could make the sauce with a milder variety (like the others pictured) or some mild chilli powder.

IMG_8878Here’s what you do…

It’s dead easy… Put all the ingredients except the butter in a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth (1-2 minutes).

Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan until very hot and frothy.

Pour the contents of the blender into the pan – be careful as it may splutter a little. Stir butter and sauce together, reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, for about 30-40 minutes. The consistency you are after is about the same as store bought tomato passata.

IMG_8880

IMG_8881

IMG_8883

IMG_8887

two4six8! Who do we appreciate!?! 😉

WAYS TO EAT IT…

1) Use it as a base for quesadillas – smear some on a tortilla, top with cheese and another tortilla, pan-fry both sides. Serve with sour cream and guacamole. Add some fried chorizo or grilled veg. Drool.

2) Put it on toast with cheese and grill it after a night out!

3) Shred the meat of a rotisserie chicken, mix some of this sauce through it and use it as a stuffing for enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas, flautas etc.

4) Serve it as a sauce with tacos.

5) My favourite… Put a ladle full in some chicken broth for Sopa de Tortillas.

6) Freeze it and dream up something yummy…

Any other suggestions? Please share in the comments section 🙂

Pineapple Cayenne Pepper Relish

9 Feb

two4six8!

A milder alternative to my fiery Sambal.

You’ll need…

1/2 large or whole small pineapple, finely chopped (around 2 1/2 – 3 cups)

1/2 brown onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup vinegar (white wine or apple cider)

1/2 cup brown sugar

2-3 cayenne chilli peppers or 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

pinch of salt

Simply…

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer, uncovered, until most liquid has evaporated and the relish is syrupy and soft. Store in a glass jar. Best eaten after a couple of weeks resting in the fridge. Yummy with fresh mint or coriander stirred through.

Serve with grilled chicken or fish. Great on burgers (Paul’s suggestion for which I told him he would get no credit whatsoever, aren’t I nice?)

Fresh cayenne peppers, underrated and unfairly upstaged by the dried powdered form. These chillies grow really well in pots. This plant has fruited abundantly at least 5 times now. They're hot, but not mega hot and de-seeded have a great flavour.

Chipotle Fish Tacos with Pineapple Tequila Salsa

30 Jan

Better with prawns but they were $45 a kilo! Stupid weather! I used Snapper. Really, you could use chicken, beef, lamb or pork. Or for vegetarian – thick slices of tofu would be yummo!

These tacos are light, fresh and so healthy tasting. They’re low fat as there is none of the stuff people associate with heavy, rich Tex-Mex, no cheese, no sour cream, no thick sauces or cooked salsas.

I only know of one place in Brisbane where you can buy dried Chipotles – Samios Foods in Woolloongabba http://www.truelocal.com.au/business/samios-foods-retail/woolloongabba  and a restaurant/deli at Worongary on the Gold Coast called Fajitas http://www.fajitas.net.au/

If you’d like to try making your own tortillas – refer to https://two4six8.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/pulled-pork-tacos/ – there is a recipe there.

Here’s what you’ll need…

(about 8-10 tacos)

2-3 dried Chipotle chillies

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

pinch salt

500 grams firm white fish

small pineapple or half a large one

2 jalapeños, thinly sliced

2 limes

small red onion

generous splash of tequila

fresh coriander

2 avocados

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8-10 small corn tortillas

Firstly…

Prepare the salsa – finely dice the pineapple, slice the onion, chop the coriander and chillies and toss in a bowl with the juice of half a lime, a splash of tequila and a some pepper and salt. Cover and set aside.

I chopped the pineapple a little too chunky, we thought. Really finely chopped, almost crushed, would have been better.

Mash the avos with a little lime juice, salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

Next…

Remove the stem from the dried chillies and process in a spice grinder to a powder. Mix with other dried spices in a small bowl.

smokey, hot, deliciousness

Then…

Slice the fish into 2-3 cm thick strips. Sprinkle with the dried spices to coat. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and when very hot quickly fry the fish. It’ll only take a minute or two each side.

A really hot pan and just a couple of minutes to keep it moist

Finally…

Warm the tortillas and wrap in foil or a slightly damp cloth and keep warm.

I wrap my tortillas in a cloth and keep them warm in a basket with a lid.

To serve…

If you want to plate up the tacos for everyone, a clever trick is to place wedges of lime on the plate in a line, so they will prop up the tortillas sitting between them! Smear each tortilla with a little guacamole, top with one or two strips of fish and a little salsa. Or, you can simply put all your bits and pieces on the table and get into it! The palm of your hand – perfect for tacos!

A little ceramic donkey and a shot of tequila make great accompaniments. Olé!

two4six8!

Spicy Korean Style Beef and Octopus Soup

19 Jun

two4six8!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Here’s a a yummy winter soup to make up for lost time! The hot bean paste in this recipe is sold in all good Asian grocers, but if you can’t find it, just use cayenne pepper or regular chilli powder. If you don’t have mirin, use dry sherry. This soup is tangy, spicy, beefy and I just love loading it with crunchy bean sprouts just before the end. Bean thread noodles are nice in this soup but don’t add them to the pot as they can overcook and break into little pieces and disappear (especially if you reheat leftovers later). This soup is just as nice with chicken and it’s much quicker obviously. When I was a uni student I ate it with no meat, just veggies and an egg poached in the spicy broth.

Oh and one more thing – if you skip the stock and reduce the quantity of water in this recipe by two thirds you can make a thick stew instead of soup, to eat with hot rice and kim-chi.

You’ll need…

500-600 grams skirt steak, cut on a diagonal, against the grain, into one inch pieces

6-8 baby octopus, roughly chopped up into 3 or 4 pieces (this ingredient is optional)

2 litres water, chicken or beef stock (a couple of stock cubes will do – and I use them all the time although I know they’re awful)

2 tbsps tomato paste

1 tbsp hot bean paste

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large onion, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

1 1/2 cm slice ginger

2 tbsps mirin, dry sherry or dry white wine

2 tsps sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

lots of cracked black pepper

a few slices dried mushrooms

A large handful bean sprouts

5-6 spring onions, sliced into 2 inch pieces

sesame oil to finish

Some sliced snow peas, button mushrooms or cabbage.

Here’s what you do…

Fry the beef in a little oil until well browned (you can do this in batches – I find it quicker that way) in a large, heavy saucepan. When all the beef is well coloured, add the onion, garlic, ginger, dried mushrooms, carrot and all other ingredients. Don’t add the bean sprouts and spring onions yet. Simmer over low-medium heat for about an hour or a little more until the beef and octopus are tender.

A couple of minutes before serving (or you can do it at the table when you serve) add the bean sprouts and spring onions. You can have fresh chives or coriander too and a few drops of sesame oil. Be careful not to eat the piece of ginger!

My Thai Fish Cakes

26 Feb

two4six8!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARNING! These are not a copy of the version sold in Thai restaurants because I find those ones are rubbery and they make my teeth squeak and I don’t like that! These are delectable little fish cakes made with fish and spices that are nice and moist and full of flavour and aroma. You don’t need to make them with expensive or fine fish. A firm fish, strong tasting or not (that’s up to personal taste) is ideal for this recipe. There are many fish that would be suitable – talk to your fishmonger if you’re not sure. I like N.Z. Gurnard and Mackerel for this recipe. This recipe is also lovely with half green prawn meat and half fish. You can also use chicken mince, or pork mince or both (you’ll need to add another egg if you use these).

All of the aromatics used in this recipe should be available at the supermarket or Asian Grocer.

You’ll need…

500 grams white fish (raw)

2 kaffir lime leaves

3 cloves garlic

1 inch piece ginger

two french shallots

1/2 cup coriander leaves

1/4 cup mint leaves

2 tbsps Chu Chee paste or Red Curry Paste (Thai)

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (commercial brands are ok, but I have put a simple recipe at the bottom for amazing home made stuff)

one egg, lightly beaten

extra fresh chillies if you like it really hot!

Put it all together… (if you don’t have a food processor, this might take a while)

Place shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander, mint and lime leaves in the food processor and process until minced. Remove and place in a large mixing bowl.

Cut the fish up into pieces and put them in the food processor. Process until you get a fine mince. Add this to the mixing bowl along with all other ingredients. Mix well until everything is well combined. Put in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours develop.

Leave to marinate for as long as you can

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fry them up…

Roll the mixture into little balls (about a ping pong ball size) and then flatten them into a thick pattie. You could also use two spoons and make quenelles. The surface needs to be smooth (or they could start to fall apart in the oil) so put a little oil on your hands while you’re moulding the cakes.

Heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a fry pan and cook the fish cakes until golden brown (about 3 mins). Remember, they will keep cooking once they’re removed from the oil, so don’t wait till they’re too dark.

Drain on paper towel and serve. You don’t need a dipping sauce with these because they’re so yummy and moist! I like to serve them with little matchsticks of young ginger (when available).

Or for something healthier…

Carefully place them fish cakes on a layer of baking paper in a steamer and steam until cooked through (about 5-6 mins).

Suggestions for serving…

Make a simple glass noodle salad with some julienned carrots, celery, some lettuce and toasted peanuts, top with fish cakes and dress with lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar.

Stir-fry some veggies in a little sesame oil and soy sauce and serve with hot white rice and fish cakes.

Slice cakes up and put in a crusty roll with some mayo, grated carrot and coriander.

The steamed version are beautiful in hot Tom Yam soup.




Spicy Coconut Fried Fish!

23 Jan

Spicy Coconut Fried Fish

If you want a finger lickin’ dish that has an irresistibly crunchy and moorish coating and a hot, firm fishy fillet in the middle then look no further. These fishy forkfuls with a squeeze of fresh lime or sandwiched between white bread with some coriander and mayo will make your toes open and close, make your eyes roll back in your head and make you thank your lucky stars that I invented this dish! This is perfect hangover food, so put your Zinga burger in the bin where it belongs, have a hair of the dog to give you the will to carry on and to cook this!

Here it is – most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry…

You’ll need…

2 firm, white fish fillets (Snapper, Reef Cod are great)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup cornflour

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (‘Panko’ Korean or Japanese are best)

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

1 tsp cayenne pepper, chilli flakes or finely chopped chillies

1/2 lime or lemon rind, finely grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

oil for shallow frying

Slice the fish!

1. With a very sharp knife (not serrated edge) slice the fish widthways into pieces around 3 cm’s wide. If the fillet is really thick, slice on a diagonal about 2 cm’s apart. Set aside.

Prepare the assembly line!

1. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.

2. Place the cornflour on a side plate.

3. Mix the breadcrumbs, coconut, lime/lemon zest, salt and chilli in a bowl and mix well.

Coat the fish!

1. One piece of fish at a time, coat it very lightly in cornflour and shake off any excess, then dip it into the egg and finally into the crumb mixture. Make sure each piece is well coated with the crumb mixture. Set it aside on a plate.

Fry!

1. Pour about 3-4 cms of vegetable oil in a fry pan and heat until hot. *See tips below about shallow frying*

2. Fry 3-4 pieces of fish at a time until lightly coloured (only one-2 minutes). Lower each piece gently into the oil, don’t plop it in. It should start to bubble like crazy straight away. Turn the piece over once. Remove and set aside on paper towel and keep warm in the oven until all pieces are done.

Serving tips!

Of course it’s perfect with a salad of crispy asian greens, bean sprouts, some lychees or green apple sticks and a tangy Thai style dressing. Make a sandwich or bread roll with white bread, mayo, sweet chilli sauce, coriander, mint and crisp lettuce. OR Try dipping in…

1. A little lime juice or sweet chilli sauce mixed into some mayo.

2. A tablespoon each of dark soy sauce, lime juice, water, palm sugar, a shake of sesame oil and a little crushed ginger!

Shallow frying tips!

Q: Which oil?

A: Peanut, canola, blended vegetable or sunflower.

Be very gentle when turning or moving the fish in the hot oil and when removing it. If you pick it up with tongues, the coating may flake off – you’re better off to use a slotted spoon or egg flip. Chopsticks are good for gentle handling.

You know the oil is hot enough for cooking when a wooden chopstick or a wooden/bamboo skewer starts to sizzle in the oil. You will also notice that the oil around the edges of the pan looks really clear and light in colour once it’s hot.

Food keeps cooking after it has been removed from hot oil. So coatings will darken in colour once removed. Don’t wait for the fish in this recipe to be too golden brown. You can always return it to the oil if you think the coating’s not dark enough. Experiment with one piece of fish before cooking all – chef’s treat!

If you use a fry pan with a heavy base, it will be easier to maintain even heat. If the oil gets too hot, slide it off the heat for a minute or two before continuing cooking.

Always drain fried food on paper towel or a cake rack. I find a cake cooling rack best and keeps the food crispier than paper towel.