Friday, October 15, 2010

Steamed River Catfish With Simply Garlic Oil

Another great fish to savor is the River Catfish aka Ikan Baung.  I steamed it with simply garlic oil and sizzled light soy sauce.  Delicious !  The meat is silky smooth and sweet . I love fish prepared with no fuss so that I get to taste the natural sweetness of the fish. Awww .... Steamed river Catfish aka Ikan Baung in our national language can be quite pricey if you order from the restuaruant menu.  I bought mine alive from the aquarium tank , sold by a fish vendor from the wet market in Canning Garden . You can pick the one you want and the man will catch it for you.  Claire a good friend of mine  recommended me this fish :)  I have been to the market so often and can you believe it ???...I walked pass the stall most Saturdays and yet can't register such a stall there :p until Claire told me about it :)
It costs me about RM12 per fish and weighs less than a kilo . The vendor will clean and gut it for me and all I have to do is take it home and steam it :)  We the chinese normally steam the fish with the head and tail intact - it is a belief that everything must have a beginning and an ending..ohhhh I think it means somthing like that..LOL ! I am not so good in chinese beliefs :p  I am truly ashamed that I do not know much of my own chinese culture and customs :(  my Piggies are worse..they can't speak proper cantonese until they went to college let alone chinese cultures.....funny though ,when they were young we spoke to them in the english language and our mother tongue..Hokkien but they chose to answer back in the english language. Joshua , my boy , told his nursery teacher that he is English ! he was 3and a half years old then...LOL!  Today...we still teased him about that.  But today , after attending college, he picked up his Mandarin and learning to write in Chinese....I am so relief when I heard him speaking mandarin with his friend over the mobile phone. 

Sorry , I digress abit back to the fish . For me steaming is the best way to eat this fish , though some prefer to cook it in curry .  Steaming it with just garlic oil and sizzled soy sauce is great for this fish. The sizzled soy sauce and garlic oil truly marry well  with the fish .  Mmmmmm simply delicious ! I steam the fish for 8 minutes only to get a smooth silky texture. Over steaming fish will give you a  coarse and hard texture :)

this size of fish will fit into my pyrex pie dish and
just nice for the two of us..

I added in some cut chillies to spice up the aromatic sauce

it may not look beautiful..
but the meat is lovely...
silky smooth and sweet

river catfish is a favourite orders
in chinese restaurant

Enjoy and have a great weekend !

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  1. Gosh...this is something I would wanna have! Yummmmssss!!!!

  2. A great way to enjoy fresh fish! My mum sent us to Chinese schools (primary and secondary) because she is English educated and can't speak or write Chinese. I think she made the right choice and I'd def do the same with my kids in the future!

  3. fresh fish nice to be steamed. No need to add anything also sedap already

  4. Mmm...the catfish looks so fresh, can simply steam it. Sounds good :)

  5. That's a great looking fish there! Sounds yummy and fresh!

  6. Lovely dish!
    Looks like we're both in the same boat in the "Chinese" category.... I'm hopeless in the language and the culture. Shame on me.

  7. This is 'Sang yue', right? I used to follow my mum to the wet market and I always like to watch how the fish monger catch this fish. This is great with porridge, deboned.

  8. Wow -- How cool is that!!! I bet it tastes great too.

  9. Arthur...:) yesss me too !

    Ann...I regretted not sending my Piggies to chinese school :( but anyway thank God they pick it up when they went to college. Now they are able to converse and read a bit of mandarin :) not a yellow banana anymore :p

    Kathy...yes , they sweeter and the flesh are firm too :)

    Ann....yes , caught them alive from the aquarium tank :)

    Natasha....yes it is :)

    ping...haha oh you too a yellow banana like me :p

    Cheah..this fish is called ' pak sook kung ' in cantonese :) is sweet and silky smooth too :)

  10. awesome - know the flavors were incredible...

  11. I used to eat this alot when I was living in LA bcos it was one of the more affordable fresh fishes around.

    I remember I had to pour boiling vinegar and water on to the fish to clean the outer slimey layer skin of the fish and I hate doing that.

    My son (6 yrs) goes to Chinese Class every Sat for 2.5 hrs since last year. One time he came back with homework ... writing "Yue"
    fish in Chinese/Mandarin. At the beginning he started with 4 strokes on the bottom, by the time he was about to finish, he had about 10 strokes.

    My husband asked him with a stern voice why there were so many "legs" and he said without skipping a beat ... "Dad, it's a fish. It doesn't have legs. It's fins and it needs it to swim"

    BTW, my son thinks he is English, too!!! LOL!!!


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