Pan fried spanish mackerel

Previously, I have described how to make garlic chili sauce which my mom used to make when I was young. The sauce is basically a condiment. Therefore, it can be consumed as is. In addition, it can be used as the marinating agent for many variety of meat including beef, goat, lamb, pork, chicken, duck and of course many kinds of seafood.

A few days ago I have cooked pan fried Spanish Mackerel marinated with garlic chili sauce. I enjoy this food because not only that it is tasty, but it saves me time. It only took me less than 15 minutes of total preparation time. Some notes on this, though,

  • I have a jar of this garlic chili sauce handy in my fridge most of the time.
  • In the morning before I leave home, I move the fish from the freezer down to the the fridge so that by the time I come home, it is already slowly defrosted ready to be cook.
  • Pick fish with clean, clear translucent meat. If the fish meat is opaque, then it is not fresh anymore. As smelly as fish can be, it should not emanate rotten flesh smell. So, be picky with your choice of fish.

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Okay, let’s do the cooking. The ingredients used in the pan fried Spanish Mackerel are

  • Fresh Spanish Mackerel cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cross-sectional thick. Wash the fish and pat dry before placing it on a plat. Patting dry the fish is important so that it is dry enough to absorb the marinating sauce. If the fish is still saturated with water, then it will be difficult for the flavor from the sauce to seep into the fish meat.
  • Garlic chili sauce. For each piece of the fish, you need about 1 tablespoon of sauce to fully cover it during the marination.
  • Salt and black pepper tailored to your preference.
  • Sprinkle a dash of salt  & black pepper over the fish.
  • Take a tablespoon of the garlic chili sauce and cover the fish thoroughly with it.
  • Place the covered fish on a plate and leave it for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes or so (in which I usually do some other things around the kitchen), heat a non-stick frying pan at the lowest temperature and drop about 1/2 tablespoon of butter.
  • Once the butter starts to melt, place the fish pieces right above the butter and cover the pan. Turn the heat to medium.
  • Once the bottom side of the fish starts to caramelize, turn it over and replace the cover.
  • If the other side is caramelized, lift the fish and place it on a clean plate.
  • You may squirt a bit of lemon and add your favorite saute vegetables and a couple slices of garlic bread which you can easily prepare while the fish is being fried.

Trick: If you want the fish to absorb more of the garlic chili sauce flavor, then I would suggest that you marinate the fish at least over night in the fridge.

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Notice that the cooked fish meat is clean white and still moist. This is perfect.

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