Pan Fried Sea Bass with Spicy Tomato Sauce (Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua) Recipe

Pan Fried Sea Bass with Spicy Tomato Sauce (Ca Chien Sot Ca Chua) Recipes

Ingredients :

3 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil

4 shallots, thinly sliced

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 large ripe tomatoes (about 675g / 1.5lb), cored, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 fresh red chilies, finely chopped, or 1/2 tsp chili paste

2 tbsp fish sauce, plus 2 tsp

1 tsp sugar

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

125g / 4 oz plain flour

4 sea bass or red snapper fillets, about 175g / 6 oz each


Method :

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. Add the shallots and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and chilies and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add 2 tbsp of the fish sauce, the sugar, and 4 tbsp water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the spring onions and dill, then remove the pan from the heat. Cover to keep the sauce warm while you cook the fish.

Sift the flour on to a large platter. Pat the fish dry and make a few diagonal slits on the skin side at the thickest part of each fillet. Rub the fillets with the remaining 2 tsp fish sauce and sprinkle with black pepper, then dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Place the fish on a platter.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan over high heat for 15 seconds, then add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. When the oil is smoking hot, carefully add the fish, skin side down. Reduce the heat to medium-high, cover the pan and cook until the skin is crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using two wide metal spatulas, carefully turn the fish. Continue to cook, uncovered, for 1 minute, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Transfer the fish to a large platter. Ladle the tomato sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

Serves 4

For a complete main course, all that is needed is a bowl of rice, a soup, and a steamed vegetable, such as asparagus or spinach. Pass chili dipping sauce separately.

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