24.11.08

catfish are jumpin'.













Anyone who's read more than a few posts out here is probably familiar with our fondness for catfish, and you've probably also heard us complain about the need for a reliable, repeatable, "go-to" catfish preparation.

The search is over, and yes, it was right before my eyes. It's not much to look at, but it's tasty as heck. This is based on a recipe from Epicurious. The original recipe called for 2 cups of julienned ginger, which I didn't have. I did have a jar of preserved ginger, which I used for some of the specified fresh, and I just eliminated the sugar from the recipe.

The turmeric is my addition because we had some in the freezer and my body needed repair. If you don't want to use turmeric, replace it with an equal amount of fresh ginger. Under no circumstances should you substitute dried turmeric for the fresh turmeric in this recipe.

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ginger catfish.

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup peeled, julienned ginger
1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped fresh turmeric (do not substitute dried)
1/2 cup finely chopped preserved ginger (baking ginger)
700 grams catfish fillets, sliced into 1cm-wide strips
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 bunch scallions, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the fresh ginger and turmeric and cook, stirring, until brown and crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the preserved ginger and fish and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce and stir well. Stir in the onion and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red pepper and scallions and cook for another 2 minutes, then serve. It's possible that you could need a little salt...mine did, just the tiniest bit.

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5 comments:

Klary Koopmans said...

where do you buy your fresh turmeric? I just got a Balinese cookbook that uses it in almost every recipe, and thought ´oh well not for me´...

MEM said...

at our little Toko Hangalampoe...they have it in their freezer. also sometimes at Dun Yong.

MEM said...

Do watch out: this is a lot of turmeric, and it really wants to stain everything it comes in contact with. Including my toothbrush.

Zora said...

intriguing! esp the part about the fresh turmeric... have you tried just the standard vietnamese preparation? recipes usually call it "clay pot catfish" (or chicken, or whatever), but it's basically just a slightly burnt caramel business, with fish sauce...like this, but even more pared down (and even more doable with random things you might have in pantry stock).

MEM said...

I have tried Andrea Nguyen's caramel catfish, but I remembered it being a bit less crazily overboard with the ginger and a bit sweeter than this. I liked it: Mara thought it was a bit too sweet.

I'm interested to see if anyone else likes the turmeric addition...