It's a mess when I goreng (fry) fish in the kitchen, and it annoys me more when the oil jumps all over the kitchen! Fried fish is the last thing I would cook, no matter how much I miss my mum's various ways of fried fish. I told my sister, I am just too lazy to fry fish. And asking mum to just fry a couple of fish for me? Hmm, I do have to 'grow up' and do things meself...
Sue (my sis) told me about baked fish, and how delicious they can be enjoyed just like fried fish as well. The key to making baked fish tasty lies in what herbs and spices being used to marinate the fish. And the type of fish you use, of course.
Indian mackerel, pomfrets and salmon are my top 3 favourite fish for baking. Salmon - because we do normally either grill or bake it. Mackerel and pomfret - simply because they're soo tasty for frying and baking is almost the same, in my opinion. It's one of my new year resolution to actually get rid of that particular silver pomfret from my freezer compartment that I've had for quite some time (but fresh still), plus I wanted to find out how baking this little pomfret would be.
It tasted wonderful, almost the same like ikan bakar (grilled fish) except for that natural banana leaf flavour is not there as I used aluminium foil instead. I used lemongrass as my main ingredient, it gives a nice aroma ans taste to the fish while maintaining the natural fish flavour.
With this successful baked fish method rather than messy fried fish, I can happily say that I won't mind eating fish more frequently! Am sure those of you who finds frying messy, will find this recipe workable and pleasant. An alternatif to frying..
:: Baked Pomfret with Lemongrass Recipe ::
1 medium silver (or white) pomfret (Bawal Putih) or Indian Mackerel (Ikan Kembung)
1 small lemongras, thinly sliced
2-4 thinly sliced lemon pieces
About 2-3 Kaffir Lime Leaves
1/3 of a red onion or 1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat your oven (medium heat). Wash and trim fish (if not done yet). Rub oil, turmeric powder and fish sauce all over the fish, including the inside parts.
On the aluminium foil, place the rest of the ingredients, starting with the onions, lemongrass on both sides of the fish. Arrange the kaffir lime leaves and lemon slices on top of both sides of the fish, and seal he aluminium foil. You may want to leave a small hole on top to let off some stream.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, then unseal the foil. Bake for another 10-15 minutes of until the fish is cooked. Serve with dark soy sauce with chopped bird's eye chili & shallots.
Try it with your favourite fish.
You can add a small cut of banana leaf on the aluminium foil to give it more taste.
You can use torch ginger (Bunga kantan) to give a different flavour.