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Pan-fried Fish Stuffed with Chilli Paste

Pan-fried fish stuffed with chilli paste recipe

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Pan-fried fish stuffed with chilli paste (辣椒鱼) is my mum’s specialty. This is the first time I am featuring a recipe on this food blog which is not cooked by me – I was merely the photographer snapping photos of my mum in action. So my mum has the honour of being my first guest poster for my food blog. My mum is a great cook, even though she always claims that she is not really into cooking. All my mum’s recipes which I featured in my food blog such as sesame oil chicken, braised pork belly & long bean omelette are childhood favourites which I grew up eating. And they are really popular on my blog proving the saying that “姜还是老的辣” (literal meaning that older ginger is spicier; implying that the older generation is more experienced). Her recipes are always straightforward, unpretentious, usually with a few key ingredients, very homely and delicious – just like this dish. I learnt how to handle spicy foods at a very young age because my mum loves to add a lot of chilli padi in her cooking, like how she will add almost 10 chilli padi in a simple ginger and scallion pork to make it insanely hot.  With this “training” for spicy foods so early in life, it’s natural that I love this chilli-stuffed fish because it’s hot and spicy.

Printable Recipe
Pan-fried fish stuffed with chilli paste recipe Place shallots, chilli padi and belacan in a blender. We actually place a bit too much shallots in this attempt so in the written recipe above, I halved the quantity which we think will be better.
Pan-fried fish stuffed with chilli paste recipe Whizz till the chilli paste is well combined.
Pan-fried fish stuffed with chilli paste recipe Make two slits along the back shoulder of the fish to form two deep pockets.
Pan-fried fish stuffed with chilli paste recipe This is what the fish with the slited pockets on the back looks like. Dab the fish dry with a paper towel and rub some salt all over the skin.
Pan-fried fish stuffed with chilli paste recipe Stuff the pockets with the chilli paste you prepared earlier. My mum said not to be greedy and over-stuff the fish or else they will spill out during frying.
Pan-fried fish stuffed with chilli paste recipe Heat cooking oil in wok and when the oil is sufficiently hot, add the fish and shallow fry on both sides till golden brown.

For all the past recipes, my mum gave me the instructions over the phone and she did not give any measurements for the ingredients because she never measures. She’ll say things such as “a bit of soy sauce, not too much”. She refuses to demonstrate them in person because they are in her opinion, “too simple”. But for this dish, she quite willingly came over to show me how it’s done because to her, it is more “intermediate level” than the other dishes. I don’t think it’s really difficult until the point of pan-frying it. I personally prefer eating steamed fish because it’s much easier to prepare and healthier. I absolutely hate frying fish because of the oil splatters. The maximum I’ll willing to go now is stir fried vegetables, which I took a while to overcome my phobia of stir frying veggies. Hopefully, I will master enough courage like my mum to venture into more dishes like this in future.

45 comments on “Pan-fried Fish Stuffed with Chilli Paste”

  1. Oh my.. guess i’m definitely a sua-ku here. LOL!

    I’ve never seen fried fish done this way before!! I so wanna give this a try soon. I’m a chili-everything-girl! :D

  2. This is mouthwatering!!!!!!! yummy! your mom must be a great cook too :)

  3. it really looks appetizing. my youngest son (3 yrs. old) loves eating fried fish, any kind of fish that is. i show him this photo and once again he said ma, cook one for me please. :D

  4. The fried stuffed fish looks really good and the sambal like so “shiok”. I love eating crispy fried fish but hate frying it myself. So only eat this outside .. haha.

  5. Same here…. my mum is also a good cook and she never measure the ingredients for yr dishes. She will tell me to “agar agar” for the seasoning. I always admire her for how she can create dishes without referring to any recipe.

  6. My mum add some lemongrass to the chili paste for her version.

  7. I love fried selar! Our selars are too small for stuffing, too bad huh. So the filling is dominate by shallots? For a while I thought that you were using garlic there. Excellent recipe!

  8. Your fried fish looks really delectable. I love spicy stuff!

  9. I’m a big fan of spicy food too, and the chilli paste stuffing here looks delicious! Sounds great with the fish.

  10. OMG!! that look great :) i’ll try them this weekend. 辣椒鱼, 马来风光 with rice.

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