Fishy no more to avoid...............

Avoiding fish because of its smell and taste?

A FRIEND of mine can never eat fish when it is served whole (that is, with its head and tail).

Nothing odd about this since I can never eat meat served whole either.

Also, what turns her off fish dishes are their, uh, fishy taste.

Fish is tricky to prepare. Even when cooked in rich, spicy curries, one can never quite get rid of the fishy taste and smell. Or hanyir, as the Malays would say.

There are two ways to eliminate this fishy problem. First, simply ensure that your fish is fresh. This means its flesh is firm, its smell is not unpleasant and its scales are intact.

Second, washing them properly before cooking is important. You can either rinse it with salt and water, or with tamarind juice.

Next, comes cooking the fish. There are many ingredients you can use to make this nutritious seafood delicious: ginger, garlic, lemon grass, spices, turmeric, limes and the like.

Below is a recipe for baked fish by Izzi Restaurant on Jalan Sultan Ismail in Kuala Lumpur.


This recipe is for one person and it makes the most of fish’s juicy and tender textures. The sour and spicy tomato coulis gives it added flavours.

Pronounced as “coo-lee”, coulis is a thick sauce made from pureed and strained vegetables. It is commonly used in meat and vegetable dishes as well as a base for soups and other sauces. (the fruit version is used for desserts).

For this recipe, all you need is:

• 150gm butter fish steak, or boneless white fish such as kurau
• salt and pepper to taste

Season the fish with salt and pepper and bake in the over at 375ÂșC for around 7 minutes.

Baking fish at high heat will keep it moist. Do not worry about burnt fish as it cooks quickly.

As the fish is being baked, you can start making the coulis. For this you need:

• 40gm fresh tomatoes, peeled, cored and blended
• 10gm tomato paste
• 2gm Italian basil
• 2gm cili padi
• 2gm lemon juice
• salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients and simmer until the sauce is reduced. Meanwhile, gather together:

• 1 tbsp oilve oil
• 50gm fennel, sliced
• 50gm gobo root, sliced
• some sweet beans
• salt and black pepper to taste

In a pan, heat up the olive oil and saute the vegetables for around 3 minutes. Do not overcook the vegetables so that they remain crispy and sweet.

Then simmer the sauteed vegetables with the coulis until the sauce is further reduced. Serve the coulis on a plate, place the baked fish on top of it and garnish, if you like, with some Thai basil and grated parmesan.

Now tuck in and enjoy this fishy deal!

My recommendation: This is a dish to get non fish-lovers to enjoy fish dishes. You can omit the cili padi and the lemon juice from the coulis and add baked young potatoes to go with the fish. The tomato sauce will disguise the fishy flavours that children often find unappealing.


Grace said...

Is this recipe from the famous IZZI Pizza?..I remember ever eat that butterfish assam pedas somthin,the name if not mistaken..I should try to cook this at home ^_*