Black Pomfret with Dark Soy Sauce and Rice Wine
My mother-in-law’s recipe (which she shared in a hazy manner) and my after a few times trial and error to get the right consistency and taste. My official food taster (and my greatest critic), my wife, tends to be a little more critical of the dishes that I copy from her mummy. Naturally if it were my mum’s recipe, I would be a little more strict with the taste-test. This time around though, it is her mother’s recipe and I got to respect the taste. Furthermore, it is a dish that she likes. So I got to get the taste right.
But me, being me, I will usually do it the way that I think is the right way to do it and not the way that people tell me is the right way to do it. I am stubborn like that, but really, it is important to develop your own flair in cooking and be yourself. There are many ways to skin a cat and when it comes to cooking, there is no hard and fast rules to it. To me flavour is everything, everything else is secondary.
Of course this maverick way of cooking only applies to cooking per se and not baking. Where baking is concern, proportions are very important. Baking is more of a science and cooking is like fine art. I can taste my way to perfection if I were cooking Coq Au Vin but if I got the proportions wrong with baking, the Tiramisu will be ruined. There are no two ways about it. So respect always goes to bakery chefs first, and then applause to the celebrity chefs and whatever it is that they are cooking.
So, this I think is perfection. Wifey ate the fish, and enjoyed it silently. Needless to say, I am pleased.
Want to know how it is done? Let me assure you, it is not rocket science. In fact the way I do it, anyone can follow – caveat: you can only if you have the freshest ingredients and the magical Hakka Rice Wine.
350-400 grams Black Pomfret
7-8 cm of Ginger
1/4 cup of Hakka Rice Wine
1 tbsp of Dark Soy Sauce
1. Julienne the ginger into thin strips. Fry in oil until crispy and fragrant. Once ginger strips starts to brown lightly, remove and set aside. Add more oil if needed, and turn the heat down. Pat dry the pomfret and slowly place the fish to fry. You may slowly increase the heat and ensure that the fish is fried till it is crispy.
2. Fry both sides of the fish, turning every so often to prevent it from burning. The skin of the fish is likely to peel off, that is normal. You can only achieve a high level of frying if you have lots of oil in the wok. As for me, I didn’t want to waste oil, so I didn’t use that much. Once the fish is more or less well cooked, you may add the dark soy sauce into the wok and flip the fish a few times so that the sauce gets onto the fish. Then add the magic hakka rice wine and watch the sauce bubble and you know deep in your heart that it is ready for consumption.
3. Once it is ready, garnish the ginger on the fish like in the picture above and you can serve.