This tiny corner of the Internets continues to beg the question "are lame, uninspired updates better than no updates at all?" And the answer is: unknowable (to quote the immensely quotable Terrill Soules...I would love to include more context for this quote but the source poem has been revised into an alternate universe version which bears little resemblance to the version in my head).
So let's just talk about inexpensive fish. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person on earth who enjoys catfish this much. It just doesn't seem to be one of those foods that people get passionate cravings for: BBQ, pizza, shrimp, pasta, sushi, etc.
But I am really going through some sort of infatuation with this lovely/lowly specimen, sticking to my once-a-week pattern for months now. Which means that I've had to develop an array of preparation methods for it so that my regular co-diners can participate in my catf(et)ish without suffering palate fatigue.
Below is the newest addition to the arsenal: slightly crunchy catfish pieces in a piquant Chinese black bean sauce. This version is the "I don't have any of the real ingredients, I've got to improvise" version, completely inauthentic. But the flavors work. The crunchiness is a bit unusual, I may switch to a mix of rice flour and something else. The distinctiveness of the crunch seems to be mitigated by placing the fish in the sauce for a few minutes. Anyway, this was just the sort of thing that my panga repertoire needed: no prep, spicy, light, yay.
catfish in black bean sauce.
3-4 tbsp black bean sauce 1/2 cup water 2 tbsp sherry vinegar 2 tbsp ginger preserves 2 tbsp soy sauce 1-2 tbsp sake
600g pangafilet 1 cup rice flour, for breading peanut oil for frying salt pepper 2 scallions, chopped
Combine sauce ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors and cook off alcohol.
Coat fish with rice flour, salt, and pepper, and fry in a shallow layer of peanut oil until brown, 5 minutes per side or so.
Serve fish and sauce over rice, scattered with scallions.