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Fish with Spicy Black Bean Sauce 香辣豆豉魚片

Ingredients:

2 lbs Basa fish fillets (4 fillets)– see note below
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp corn starch

Sauce:
3 cloves garlic– chopped
5 red hot peppers– chopped
2 stalks green onions– chopped
2 tbsp cooking oil
2-3 tbsp fermented black beans 豆豉
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce

Method:

  1. Defrost fish fillets, then cut each fillets into 4 pieces. Boil water (enough to cover the fish) in a pot.
  2. Right before putting fish into boiling water, marinate fish with fresh lemon juice, fish sauce and corn starch. Mix to coat well.
  3. Gently lay fish pieces into boiling water, piece by piece so it doesn’t break apart. Cook until the fillets float up. Gently remove fish with a strainer scoop and arrange on a plate.
  4. To make the sauce, heat up a wok with 2 tbsp cooking oil, sauté garlic, peppers, black beans and green onions until aromatic, add in soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir to blend well. Please note this is not a watery sauce and it’s kind of dry. Spoon the sauce over the fish.

Regina’s Note:

  • Basa fish fillets: it is usually a product from Vietnam and comes in individually frozen fillets. You can find it in Asian grocery stores in frozen seafood section.
  • Marinate fish right before cooking them, or else the acidity of lemon juice will ruin the texture of the fish.
  • The black bean sauce can be made ahead of time.
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The reunion dinner is the most important dinner in a year as all children (no matter where they live) would return to their parents’ house for the big family gathering and also preparing for the next day– Chinese New Year.  The reunion dinner to Chinese is just like Thanksgiving meal to Americans. And as such, it’s a feast too just like the American version. For the reunion feast menu, I was thinking to have 1 soup, 1 meat dish, 1 seafood dish and 1 veggie dish. This was what on the table:

Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner

Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner

Soup: chicken soup with fish maw and abalones

Meat: roasted duck from Marina Foods ( I was in line for at least 45 minutes for this duck!)

Seafood: Padang (sweet curry) prawns and steamed grouper with spicy soybean sauce (I didn’t plan this on the menu as Richard is not a big fan of cooked fish but my friend said serve fish and save some extra for the next day– meaning there’s always abundance of wealth, so here  on the table).

Veggie: sauteed sweet peas with mushroom and carrot. Sweet peas is for the “sweet” coming lunar year. I made a flower pattern out of the carrot, not only would it look pretty on the plate but also tried to encourage my boys to eat carrots… but no luck at all.

This was a lot of food for a small family like us (2 adults, 2 boys and 1 baby) and I expected to have some leftovers. I wanted to have some leftovers… after busy making all the CNY treats days before, it was time for me to take a break from the kitchen…

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