Sunday, 9 March 2014

Sambal Steamed Fish...and the time I repurposed a Brahims sauce packet.

And yet again I've fallen into the no-post trap! Sorry folks, it's been a crazy busy period over here in St. Andrews. More specifically I was in a play written by a friend of mine and it was a bit of a mad scramble to have it up. It was absolutely beautiful and everyone was impressed and happy now the cast is depressed and suffering from PSD (Post Show Depression :p) What to turn to in the light of such a debilitating disease? Why food, of course! Specifically comfort food. And what better comfort food than the kind which invokes flavours from home? Which leads me to a Malaysian Student staple...

Brahim's sauce packets. If you're a Malaysian student studying abroad chances are you stock up on these every time you're home. They're a great quick fix, but it gets a little boring just simmering meat in them. Personally, I rarely use my Brahim's packets for what they're meant to do. :p I get cheeky... I use them as marinades, as basting sauces, as bases for soups, and now I've found a new use. To steam fish. :)

The sambal tumis paste...doesn't really taste like proper sambal tumis. It lacks a certain...richness? sweetness? I don't know. What I DO know is that with a little bit of tweaking it makes a nice spicy steamed fish topping. Served atop a bed of hot white rice, if you close your eyes you could almost convince yourself you're back home. :)

Spicy steamed fish
- 1 cod fillet (if frozen, thawed completely)
- veggie oil
- 1/4 red onion
- 2 Tbsp Brahim's 'Kuah Sambal Tumis'
- 3 Tbsp water
- salt and sugar
- chilli flakes (the Brahim's paste isn't very spicy)
+ baking paper

* I know the pictures show green beans under the fish, but those were half cooked and half uncooked and just entirely very weird. I have a feeling you'd have to steam them separately to include them in the dish, or else you run the risk of overcooking your fish. A bit too much faff really. You'd be better off just stir frying them.

+ Place your cod fillet in the baking paper.
+ Stir fry the red onions till beginning to be translucent. Add the chilli flakes and Brahim's paste, along with 3Tbsp of water. Add salt and sugar to taste. And simmer till slightly thickened. Set aside and allow to cool.
+ Spread the spice paste over your fish and twist the baking paper parcel shut.
+ Place in steamer and steam for 7-9 minutes. The fish is done if it flakes easily when poked with a fork. Check at 7 please. There're few things in life less unpleasant than overcooked fish.
+ Remove packet from heat, and pour contents onto a waiting bed of hot steamed rice.

More next time guys!

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