Just been to Fin & Flounder, Adam the fish monger there happened to ask if I have ever filleted a fish before. Of course I had, but badly, so I said, no. Simon is usually the one with all the chef skills. So he offered to teach me how to do it and it was entirely satisfying to use a fishmonger’s sharp knife slicing through the body of a mackeral like a sworded samurai. Its almost animalistic to feel the flesh tear apart as if with your teeth.
Last week, I bought a carp from here. I had never eaten carp before because of course they don’t really sell it in the supermarkets and all the fish mongers died out (thank you Fin & Flounder for opening up near where I live). So I pan fried a steak with some salt and pepper and ate it with some white bread and butter. My favourite simple food of all time.
And then, for further inspiration, I had a look at Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey due to a request for what to make at Vietnamese Cookery Class and found that he made fillets of fish, fried in tumeric and dill so we decided to make pouting and carp pieces in lemongrass with a sweet and chilli fish sauce
Ingredients for Sauce:
1 x Sour, Unriped Mango cut into thin sticks 4 Sugar 4 Fish Sauce (Three Crabs Label) 4 White Wine or Cider Vinegar 4 Cloves of Garlic 4 Chillis Dill to garnish (optional)
Mix all together, add more sugar if too salty, add more sugar if too sour, add more sugar if too salty.
Ingredients for Marinade
4 Lemongrass Stalks finely sliced 4 Garlic Crushed Pepper to season
Method Marinade the carp, pouting or coley with lemongrass, garlic and black pepper and pan fry until golden brown in shallow vegetable or olive oil.
Place on plate, pour over the sauce and sprinkle mango and dill (optional) over the fish. Serve with steamed rice.
(BRILL. will have better pictures next time)
You can also use this sauce for a pan fried brill or any other sustainable flat fish like Dab. Brill is currently in season in the Winter and has more meat than say, Lemon Sole.
I’ve got to say, the Brill was the most favourite dish at the table. I can eat pan fried Brill just with bread and butter but try out this sauce – its amazing. You can chose to marinade your fish in lemongrass or not – its great either, or.
This sauce is the basic secret to many Vietnamese dishes. A touch of lemongrass, or any other herb like dill, mint, coriander changes it ever so slightly.
Whilst we are talking about Dab, there is #OperationDAB, when you are at your fishmongers and supermarket, ask for Dab, ask for Brill, ask for fresh Mackeral (I only ever see smoked), ask for Coley, ask for Herring. Tell all your friends to do the same. Then they will bring in the good fish and we can help to reduce the amount of discard by fishermen not bringing back the Dab because no one is buying it.
If you haven’t already done so, please Join Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall‘sFish Fight here and petition against Shark Finning. Every vote counts, we can each all make a difference to our seas and oceans.