Recipe: pan fried basa with tomato sauce

Many of my dishes are “invented” by me because very often, I don’t cook according to a recipe. Sure, I would trawl the internet for recipes but I largely use those recipes as a base to get an inkling of what to add to make my dishes taste good, or what flavor combinations are possible. When it comes to the actual cooking, I just guesstimate the amount to use. Like for example, I don’t measure the amount of salt or soya sauce I use… I just eyeball the amount, taste and adjust if required. Obviously then, you need to use a smaller amount since you can always add more if needed but you can’t really take out the excess.

Anyhoo, the following recipe was just an idea I had from a popular dish we often have in Singapore – deep fried crispy fish with sweet and sour sauce. Over in Germany, it is really difficult to find a whole fish and I wouldn’t want to cook a whole fish anyway, so I used basa fish filets. I was surprised to find basa fish filets at the local supermarket for such a cheap price, so it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites.

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  • basa filets (use 1 piece per person if it’s going to be your main, or half piece per person if it is going to be a side dish)
  • flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • a generous squirt of tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp of Asian black vinegar
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • chopped spring onion (for garnish)

First, you need to season your fish with some salt and pepper. Then dredge it in flour – you only need a thin coating. Heat up some oil in a fry pan and fry your fish over medium heat until fish is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

In the same pan (I prefer this way so there’s less washing up), throw in your tomatoes and pan fry them for a minute. Add in 3-4 tbsp of water and squish the tomatoes lightly to release the juices. When the tomatoes are soft, add in tomato ketchup and black vinegar. The sauce should taste a little tart. Add in sugar to balance out the acidity, and to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes.

Add in the fish and stir gently to coat with sauce. Garnish with spring onion and serve hot with rice.

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