Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Braised Fish Fillet in Chilli-Black Bean Sauce (Tausi)
I prepared this fish fillet, took a photo of it and presented it to Hubby. He declared it the best braised fish I ever made! So, I started writing about this dish today. Only to discover that I have a previous post on braising fish in black beans. I used another kind of fish then, of course, and the I am adding more ingredients this time like the green chilli pepper (siling haba), a little chili powder and cilantro. But the main flavoring ingredients - the salty black beans and the tomatoes are basically the same.
The braising of fish in black beans and tomatoes is a comfort food for this family. This dish is very healthy. Anything made with tomatoes is healthy, right? Less oil is used. It is also very versatile. You can pair it with rice, with congee or with bread.
When braising with a whole fish like the seabass I used previously, it is not necessary to pre-cook the fish. You simply cook the fish with the sauce. But this time, I used fish fillet, so I had to brown the fish in a little oil (in a non-stick pan) so that the meat will hold together in braising.
When we talk about black beans in Asia, this refers to the fermented or salted black beans. We are not referring to the fresh or dried black beans that you add into soups, chilies and burritoes. The black beans we are talking about here are small, black soybeans that have been preserved in salt. Also known as Chinese black beans or salty or salted black beans, they have a very strong, salty flavor.
Many people say that the black beans have to be soaked for a half hour or so in fresh water before being added to a dish. But I never did this when I cook any dish using the fermented black beans. I usually add it straight from the bottle, and sometimes, during cooking, I even mash some beans to release more flavor.
2 pcs large fish fillets (I used Red Snapper - Maya Maya)
4 T cooking oil
5 slices ginger
5 T garlic, minced
1 onion, quartered
5 large tomatoes, chopped
2 T black beans
2 T soy sauce, optional
3 pcs green chillies (siling haba)
a bunch of cilantro, wshed, chopped
dash of red chilli powder
salt and pepper
1. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on both sides of the fish fillets. Add some flour to cover both sides as well. Heat a little oil in a non-stick skillet or wok. Pan-fry the fish fillet until just browned. So, the fillets are still half-cooked. Set aside.
2. In the same skillet or wok, in the same oil, add in and cook the ginger slices until fragrant. Add in the onion, and stir fry until softened, about 2 -3 minutes. add in the garlic. When fragrant, add in the tomatoes and black beans. Add in the green chillis. Let this mixture simmer for a while, around 3 minutes to let the flavors come out.
3. Add in the fish fillets. Cover for a few minutes. Turn the fish to the other side. Add some water if needed, or if you want more sauce. Cook the fish covered until cooked. Around 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Add in the chilli powder, as much as you prefer. Add in soy sauce if you prefer more salty.
5. Drizzle with sesame oil just before serving. Serve hot.
Sharing this healthy dish with Heart of the Matter food event, this month focusing on slimming recipes. Fish is a slimming food. It has less fat and more nutritious than red meat. This month's host is Ilva of Lucillian Dleights. For more healthy treats and heart-healthy recipes and more information about eating healthy, please check out the Heart of the Matter blog.