What are my two favourite things… creativity and stealing. (which, is almost an oxymoron, but, whatever!) I am such a thief! The sambal in this recipe has been stolen and recreated by me, from Ms G’s in Sydney. I have already raved about how absolutely mind blowing that Barramundi dish was and so, since then, as I no longer have the great pleasure of being a Sydneysider <tears>, I have tried my hand at my own version, and while not to Dan’s standard, it does the job pretty darn well.
To go with this light and refreshing fish dish, I have paired it with this Asian ‘chip’ potato salad.
Asian fish and chips, pretty fun and pretty yum!
Inspired by Ms G’s Sydney and Australian Gourmet Traveller
- 6-8 fresh chillies
- 2cm piece of ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 lemongrass root, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lime
- 50ml white vinegar
- Coarse salt
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 cup cucumber, finely diced
- 1 cup watermelon, finely diced
- Potato Salad
- 3 large waxy potatoes, such as Desiree
- 2 tbs each peanut oil and sesame oil
- 3 tbs julienned ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 small red chillies, finely chopped
- 1½ tbs soy sauce
- 50 ml Chinkiang black vinegar
- 1 tbs chicken stock
- 4 pieces of skin on fish, snapper, barramundi (Sea Bass), whatever good quality white fish you can get
- First, make your sambal. Chop the ginger, garlic and lemongrass into the mortar and add the chillies and half of the lime zest, keeping the other half aside for later. Crush the ingredients together in the mortar. Gradually add the vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and continue pounding. The salt will assist to break down the other ingredients. Taste the mix to ensure you are happy with the combination of sweet, sour, salty and hot flavours. Add additional amounts of the ingredients as required to balance the taste to your liking.
- Add the mix to a cold pan. Place the pan over high heat. Be careful not to let the flame come up around the sides of the pan (this will burn the edges). Mix the sambal with a wooden spoon as it heats. Add the sugar. This will caramelise the mix and bring the flavours together. Cook, over medium heat, for 10 minutes or until the mixture is pulpy. When the mix is almost done, add the remaining lime zest. Cook for a further 90 seconds. Set aside to cool.
- Cut potatoes into julienne on a mandolin, placing them in a bowl of cold water as you go to prevent them going brown. Set aside to soak to remove starch. About 20 minutes.
- Once sambal is cool, add 2 tbs to your cucumber and watermelon and mix well. Leave to develop while you get on with the potato dish.
- Heat 1 tbs of each oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering, add garlic and chilli and stir-fry until fragrant. Remove from heat, set aside to cool slightly, then add soy sauce and half the vinegar and set aside.
- Add the remaining all to the pan over a high heat and stir fry the ginger until crispy and golden. Drain on towel and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 200ºC.
- Drain potato, rinse, then add to a saucepan of boiling salted water over medium-high heat, bring back to the boil, then cook for 1 minute. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, add stock and remaining vinegar and stir to coat well. Set aside to cool.
- Season the skin side of the fish well. Heat oil in a large oven-proof frying pan, add fish skin-side down and cook over medium heat until skin is golden brown and crisp about 4-5 minutes, transfer pan to oven and cook until just cooked through anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the fish.
- Place the potatoes in a serving bowl, drizzle with ginger-chilli dressing, scatter with spring onion and crispy ginger.
- Place a generous mound of salsa on a plate, top with the crispy skin fish and serve with potatoes.