Make this flavourful yet healthy fish dish by Hedy Khoo
All Photos: Hedy Khoo/The New Paper
There is nothing I like better than a homecooked meal paired with wine and good company.
For a dish like stir-fried fish belly with bittergourd, Riesling is my go-to choice.
I even use a little of it to marinate the fish. I find that the fruity, acidic notes of a refreshing, light-bodied Riesling provides balance to the dish which can be quite heavy on the palate.
On the choice of fish, while it is easy to get salmon belly at the supermarket, I prefer ikan kurau or garoupa which I get from the fishmonger at my neighbourhood wet market.
The tender gumminess of fish belly slices coated in bean paste, combined with a chilled bottle of wine, is reason enough to call your friends over for a gathering.
- 800g fish belly
- 2 tbsp white wine
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 15g ginger, finely sliced
- 15g ginger, julienned
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp fermented black beans
- 1½ tbsp fermented bean paste
- 200g baby bittergourd, sliced (blanched for a minute)
- 2 red finger chillies
- 100ml water
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- A dash of ground white pepper
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp water
- Rinse and pat dry the fish belly. Slice it into large pieces (5cm by 5cm).
- Place the fish belly slices in a deep dish. Add the white wine, salt and cornflour.
Add white wine, salt and cornflour to the fish belly slices.
- Wear plastic gloves and gently mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Marinate the fish for 30 minutes.
- Heat the wok or frying pan. Using medium heat, fry the ginger slices for 30 seconds and add the julienned ginger. Fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped garlic and fry until fragrant.
- Add the fermented black beans and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the fermented bean paste. Stir-fry the mixture for 30 seconds.
Add the fermented bean paste.
- Add the fish belly slices and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the baby bittergourd and red chillies.
Add the red chillies.
- Stir-fry for a minute. Add the water. Continue to cook for 2 minutes or until there is no visible liquid.
- Add the light soy sauce and white pepper.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water. Add this to the wok and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Plate and serve.
A version of this story first appeared in The New Paper on March 16, 2017, with the headline, ‘ Hed Chef: Stir-fried fish belly with bittergourd’.