This my take on a Malaysian dish called Chuan-Chuan – it is a dish which is packed with so much flavour, but comes together in less than 20 minutes. I served it on a bed of steamed spinach with a side of steamed brown rice.
I love the way so many Asian recipes match fish with robust flavours to give dishes that are so different from those of so many other
cuisines which tend to team fish with more delicate flavours.
Groper with Soy Braised Onions & Garlic
I love and use fresh chillies regularly, however, their true season is high summer, so when they are plentiful I freeze them to use during the months when they are not as readily available. Simply freeze whole and pull out and use as required – they defrost within in minutes and in most cases can be sliced or chopped while still partially frozen.
4 x 175g hāpuku or groper steaks
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced – I used a Bird’s eye
1 Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add a splash of oil and swirl to coat base of pan. Season fish steaks lightly with salt, add to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes each side – exact cooking time will depend on thickness of steaks, the fish does not have to be completely cooked through at this stage. Remove fish from pan and keep warm.
2 Reduce heat, add a little more oil, if necessary, and onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until for 8-10 or until onions start to brown. Add garlic, ginger and sugar and cook, stirring, for 45-60 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in soy sauce and vinegar and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Season with a good grind of black pepper and return fish steaks to pan, cover and cook for 1-2 minutes to heat through and finish cooking. Serve scattered with chilli.
So tell me, team fish with delicate or robust flavours?
Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Fish: Tangaroa Seafoods – Napier; Onions, garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; From the freezer: chilli; Store Cupboard Ingredients: vegetable oil, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, salt, black pepper.
Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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