Friday, December 14, 2007

Grilled Skate Wing/Stingray

Stingray or Skate was an inexpensive and largely ignored fish until relatively recently, when this excellent way of cooking it - slathered with Chili Sambal, wrapped in banana leaf and grilled over charcoal was discovered. I found that i had better result using the griddle than grilling over fire and whatever chili sambal you have on hand will do. There are so many types of premix or assam fish available and even Tom Yam paste can be a sub. for the chili sambal. Any white fish fillets would be a good stand in for the stingray.


1½-2 lb whole Stingray/skate wing, cleaned
1½ tsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon /lime
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 cup warm water
a large piece of banana leaf [Substitute: aluminum foil]
2-4 toothpicks, soaked in water
3-4 fresh lime, cut into wedges
1 onion, sliced, for garnishA few sprig
s fresh coriander leaves [cilantro], for garnish
8 shallots, peeled
4 garlic, peeled
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
2 stalks lemongrass, tender ends only
4-6 dried chilies, softened in hot water
1½ tsp
belacan, also spelt belachan or blacan [dried shrimp paste]
[Items in red are to be ground/blended]


Rub stingray with lemon/lime juice and salt, set aside for 10 mins.

In a small bowl, mix tamarind paste with warm water, strain, discard seeds, set aside.

Using blender/food processor, grind shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, dried chilies , vegetable oil and belacan.

Cook the ground paste in the microwave on high until fragrant.

Add tamarind, sugar, salt to taste, cook further until sauce is slightly thickened, allow sauce to cool.

Soften banana leaf in hot water, dry well with a tea towel, lightly coat with vegetable oil .

Spoon and spread half the sauce on the banana leaf, lay the stingray fillets on top, spoon the rest of the sauce on the fish.

Fold the banana leaf into a packet, secure with toothpicks .

Grill on a hot charcoal bbq grill or indoor grill or stovetop grill pan, 10-15 mins, depending on the thickness of the fish, turn over ONCE
Garnish with sliced onions, coriander leaves and lime wedges

Serve hot with steamed rice or a fresh salad

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Oyster Omelette/Or Chien

The prefect marriage of just-cooked-to-perfection oysters, eggs, a somewhat crisp finish of the flour and starch mixture is what to expect from this dish.


8 - 10 large fresh oysters or 1/2 lb frozen oysters

2 tbsp tapioca starch

1 tbsp rice flour

8 tbsp water

1 tbsp oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 whole eggs, beaten

1 tbsp light soya sauce

1 tbsp chinese wine

Ground white pepper

Sprigs of cilantro and chopped spring onions for garnishing


Wash the oysters and drain well.

Mix both tapioca starch and rice flour together with the water to ake a very thin batter.

Heat a large heavy frying pan until very hot and add oil.

Pour in the batter and cook for about 15 seconds until batter is half set before adding in the eggs.

When the eggs are almost set , make a hole in the center by pushing the egg and batter mixture to the side of the pan.

Pour in a little more oil and fry the garlic for a few seconds.

Mix, then season with soya sauce, chinese wine and pepper.

Add oysters and cook just long enough to heat through.

Garnish and serve immediately accompanied by Chili Sambal.

Chili Sambal

10 bird's eye chilies, chopped

20 red chillies, chopped

10 cloves garlic

1/2 cup oil

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp dried prawns, soaked and pound or blend

5 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Pound and blend the chilies and garlic to obtain a fine paste using all the oil to keep the blades turning.

Pour blended ingredients into a large microwaveable bowl and add in tomato paste & dried prawns.

Cook on high for 5 minutes and continue to cook until the chili is fragrant.

Add in lime juice and sugar, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Allow to cool.



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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Braised Chicken in Potato Mould

A typical chinese dish and it is only the final treatment of this dish that shows an innovative approach, adding potatoes and baking the chicken. The chicken can be cooked well in advance and the dish finished by preparing the potatoes and bakng the assembled dish in the oven.


1 whole chicken about 3 lbs, cut in pieces and deboned
Oil for deep frying
12 fresh shitake mushrooms, quartered(if using dried mushrooms - soak in warm water)
10 button mushrooms , halved
2 1/2 inches ginger, sliced
1 1/2 lb large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
tbsp oyster sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 whole star anise
1 stick cinnamon about 1 1/2 inches long
1 tsp five-spice powder
3 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp chinese wine
3 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbsp water
Combine the marinade ingredients, mix with the chicken and set asde to arinate for 10 minutes. Pat the chicken dry and deep fry in very hot oil until half cooked.

To prepare the sauce, heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan and stir fry the garlic, star anise and cinnamon stick for 1 minute.

Add the deep-fried chicken, both types of mushrooms and ginger. Stir fry for 3 minutes, then add remaining sauce ingredients, except for the cornstarch mixture.

Simer for about 2 minutes and season to taste, then add the blended cornstarch. When the sauce thickens a little, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Pan fry the thinly sliced potatoes with butter and oil until half cooked. Line an oven-prrof bowl with the half-cooked potatoes, making sure they overlap.

Fill with the cooked chicken mixture and cover with remaining potatoes.

Bake in a hot 400f oven for about 5 - 7 minutes.

Unmould and serve hot.

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