thai fish stir fry
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I can officially confirm that it’s possible to stir fry fish. It’s probably laughably obvious to chefs, especially the genuine oriental chefs with ethnic roots and all who know what they’re doing when they cook stir fries. I just slosh a bit of fish sauce about and pretend I’m cooking Thai – but why blame me? It’s an affirmation of how wonderful the cuisine is, even when cooked by a clueless farang.
Fish stir fries: I was always concerned that – sturdy monkfish aside – fish would flake to oblivion and disintegrate in a wok, the brutal beast that it is (wok, not fish). Not so, it turns out, which only confirms that you shouldn’t moan about the impossible until you try.
The secret is to marinate it senseless, cook it on medium heat and handle it with (chopsticks and) care when in and out of, and then in again, the wok. Add curry paste to the vegetables – or not, I didn’t.
thai fish stir fry
- 300g (10oz.) firm white fish (cod, haddock, hake, red bream) skinned and pin boned
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, for frying
- For the marinade:
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed
- 1 tbsp. grated ginger
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ bunch of fresh coriander, chopped finely
- 1 green Thai chili, finely chopped or grated
- 1 ½ tbsp. fish sauce
- ½ tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- For the stir fry and noodles:
- 100g (3oz.) medium egg or flat rice noodles
- chili oil
- 1 red pepper
- 100g (3oz.) cup mushrooms
- a handful of sugar snap peas or mangetout
- 50g (1 ½ oz.) beansprouts
- ½ carrot, shredded
- 4 spring onions
- quartered lime, to serve
Rinse and pat dry the fish; cut it into 5cm chunks. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the fish and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Core and chop the pepper into strips or dice; slice the mushrooms, slice the beans lengthwise. Trim the spring onions and chop them into 1-2cm pieces.
Soak the noodles: bring a pan of water to the boil, drop the noodles and soak them for 5 minutes. In the meantime heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the fish with the marinade and spread it over the bottom of the wok in a single layer. Cook for a minute, then turn the fish pieces over using chopsticks or tongs. When the fish has barely turned opaque, remove it back to the bowl and keep aside.
Add all the vegetables except spring onions to the wok and turn the heat up a little. Stir around to dislodge the marinade that might have stuck to the bottom, add ½ cup of water and cover with a lid or a tray. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring now and again. At this point drain the noodles, stir a little chili oil into them and keep warm.
When the vegetables look cooked, return the fish with its sauce into the wok, add the spring onions and stir gently. Cover the wok with a lid and let the fish steam for a minute or two. Divide the noodles between serving bowls or plates and pile the fish stir fry on top. Serve with lime quarters.