What’s Cooking?

This week on “what’s cooking” is a fresh deep fried baby snapper in sour caramalised sauce with lots of fresh chopped mints and coriander.


It is not easy to find a fresh baby snapper in Hobart, but I am lucky to pick one up early this week. I decide to deep fried the fish rather than steamed. It is more exciting and sexy, with more punch to the taste. The other reason is that my partner prefers the fish deep fried rather than steamed. I guess when we cook, we don’t always cook for ourself, but more so for the others to enjoy and the satisfaction of seeing a happy face 🙂

To prepare this dish, pad dry the fish and lightly coat the fish with some salt, pepper and flour. Roughly chopped some mint and coriander, sliced some spanish onion and set aside.

To prepare the sauce, first make a spiced paste with some chopped garlic, spanish onion, red chillies and ginger (either pound or use the food processor). Then fry the spiced paste in hot oil until fragrant. Mix in some tamarind juice and palm sugar to taste. Cook in low heat until the sauce thickens. 

To cook the fish, heat the oil (enough oil to cover the whole fish), then gently lower the fish and deep fried until it’s cooked and lightly browned. Remove the fish and placed on some kitchen paper towel to soak the excess oil. 

Ready to serve. Place the fish on a plate. Pour the sauce over the fish (or on the side if you prefer), sprinkle the mint, coriander and spanish onion. 

We both enjoy this dish. It is sour and sweet at the same time, not too spicy. It has lots of fresh mint, coriander and onion, which blends in quite nicely with the caramalised sauce. The fish has that slight crispiness in its skin and the flesh is just right with a nice sweet flavour. 

Please feel free to share your idea or creation, and whether you will use a different sauce and/or ingredients to make a deep fried snapper

Have fun and happy eating for the week.

47 responses to “What’s Cooking?

  1. Looks yummy – but next time debone the fish lah!

  2. Oh – sorry – I meant FILET the fish – cannot tahan bones

  3. Oops – fillet?

  4. Typical dizzy Sydney queen!

  5. This is a bit rich coming from someone who identifies with DOROTHY lolz

  6. Sorry, darls, I should’ve put a smiley or something there. I meant it in the nicest way, not the bitchiest although I can see it might have come across that way. 😦

  7. What the … here I was reading up on how to fry fish and now I find myself in the middle of Oxford Street, Sydney (according to my chick’s brother’s “friend”)

  8. “Cannot tahan bones?”

    How would a Sydney suburban queen like you know anything about filleting a fish anyway?

  9. Well … it’s called …

    “Hello – I’ll have the fish special thanx – and please can you fillet/filet/debone the fish as my throat is very delicate …”

    Simple 🙂

  10. Hmm … and what’s with the “ethnic speak”? What does it mean? And why is everyone being so gay? *confused*

  11. OMG. What is going on here? This is about my deep fried fish…and, yes I meant it when I said it is exciting and sexy because it is fiery hot, or “Wok Hay” in cantonese. I didn’t mean to stir up a “Battle of the Queen”.

  12. Omg “deep fried fish” is sexy now? I think my chick would have something to say about that!

  13. Chick? Chiiiiickkkk!

    TassieBogan is right! 😉

  14. Right on brother!!!

  15. Victor – you should submnit your blog to the Foodie blog roll here – http://www.foodieblogroll.com/

    There’s some good blogs there.

  16. I was amazed when I moved up to Brisbane to find no fresh fish shop in my suburb, or the suburb I work in, and they’re both just a stone’s throw from the Brisbane CBD!

    If I want good fresh fish, I’d have to bus or train somewhere for it … I’m not too keen on buying seafood from Woolies or Coles, which is the only option.

    Anyway, lacking fish, I made this Indian recipe for kofta curry on the weekend and it was very simple, very tasty …


    It calls for 2 eggs for only 500g of meat which I thought was too much, so I only used 1 egg – the kofta turned out just fine, though I think next time, I’ll use lamb mince. And, at the end of cooking, I added some thickened cream (’cause I had a few tablespoons left in the fridge and thought I may as well use it before it went off) – very nice. Yoghurt would work well, too.

    And I upped the chilli content. Naturally.

    • Great recipe from Mallika. Thanks. Add to blogroll.

      I like your idea of varying the ingredient and portion to your own taste and invention. Thumbs up! 🙂

    • Ross, it’s worth a visit down south to the Brunswick Heads fishing co-op..but phone first to ask what has been freshly caught.

  17. Victor..I find one of the most difficult things is tasty nibblies that one can make ahead..preferably freeze. I have dobbed myself in to make the nibblies for g/daughter’s forthcoming christening. So far it’s a couple of dozen mini quiches (special request from son), but now I need another nibbly idea..this is giving regard that these will need to be frozen and then transported via suitcase up to Cairns.

    • mini triagles with, pick what they like inside.
      i make one that tastes different every time even though i use the same ingredients.

    • Min, how about some chinese dumpling? You can buy Gow Gee wrapper (round) from an Asian supermarket.

      To make the filling, chop and mix the following ingredients:

      1 can of water chestnut – finely chopped
      4 shiitake mushroom – finely chopped
      500 gm mince pork (or chicken)
      2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion (green parts only)
      1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
      2 teaspoons light soya sauce – approx 1 teaspoon
      1 teaspoon sesame oil
      1/2 tablespoon chinese cooking wine
      1/2 teaspoon white pepper
      a pinch of salt and sugar

      To make the dumpling – place a teaspoon of ingredient in the centre of the dumpling wrapper, wet one finger in a small bowl of cold water, run your finger around the rim of the wrapper, fold into half and pinch the edge to fold the wrapper. place on a tray (dust the tray with some plain flour to prevent the wrapper from sticking to the base of the tray). Freeze, do not put in the fridge.

      There are 3 ways to cook the dumpling:

      1. Steam
      2. Poach
      3. Pay fry

      Dipping sauce – a bit of chilli sauce and hoi sin sauce, or mix some freshly chopped red chilli in a bit of light soya sauce.

  18. Re spelling error..I called it Food Trial on Reb’s blog yesterday. However, with my cooking skills this could indeed be an accurate assessment….

    And yes, thank you to Hexx too. I think that I will make a couple of dozen of both. Son’s partner is a TSI (Torres Strait Islander) and the other granny has 7 brothers…it’s going to be bigger than Ben Hur!

    Hexx, do you have the recipe?

    Victor, do I steam, poach or fry and then freeze? Or do I freeze then when thawed steam, poach or fry?

    • Min – In the past, I have poached the dumpling first, then let them sit and dry before freezing. They freeze well. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and pan fry straight away to prevent the dough from becoming wet. That way, you will get the crispyness on the dumpling skin.

      The other thing is adjust the ingredient portion to your liking. Use what I have given you only as a guide. You can opt not to use the mushroom and water chestnut, but substitute with maybe chinese cabbage (not the soft leafy part, but the white part for that texture).

    • Ill try and find the proper reciepy tonight.

  19. Min but i was thinking with the kids they may prefer meat more than spinach.

    Make a meat pie mix and put a little into each triangle.

    the spinach triangles receipy is:
    2 unthawed pastry puff sheets
    1 cup of finaly chopped spinach
    1/4 cup of chopped shallots
    1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
    2 tblspn chopped parsley
    1 tblspn chopped mint
    1/4 tspn thyme
    1/4 tspn mixed spice
    salt and pepper
    1 egg beaten (poor egg)
    lemon wedges

    cut pastry into 4 even squares. Combine spinach, shallots, pinenuts, herbs, mixed spice, salt and pepper.

    Place heaped tablespoonfulls of the mixture on each square. Brush edges with egg. Fold pastry over to form triangle(lol). Press edges together well to seal. Brush with egg.

    Place on a baking tray. Bake in a very hot oven(or freeze) (220c) for 15 – 20 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden. Serve Hot or cold with lemon.
    Makes 8
    My modified version may have killed you, hence why i gave you the original receipy.

  20. Thank you very much gentlemen. Victor, will stick with your original as I LOVE water chestnuts..something about their crispy crunchiness.

    And Aqua/Hexx..one of my very favorite flavors..pine nuts.

    And yes I agree poor egg re beaten but at least it wasn’t whipped.

  21. I promised my Man Food mini quiche recipe and here it is:


    2 cups plain flour
    125g butter
    1 tsp mustard
    1/2 tsp paprika
    salt, pepper
    1 egg yolk
    2 tbs water


    250g bacon
    1 small onion
    1 tbs parsley
    60g gruyere cheese
    2 eggs
    1 cup milk
    125g cheddar cheese

    Silt dry ingredients and rub in rubber, add egg yolk and water and mix to a firm dough. Kneed lightly. Cut into 8cm rounds and press into patty tins.

    Chop bacon and place with finely chopped onion into frying pan. Fry until bacon is crisp, then cool. Spoon mix into pastry cases and top with a little of the combined cheeses. Beat eggs and milk and spoon to cover. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and bake in a hot over for about 7 minutes or until golden.

    Note: any combination of cheeses will do as long as not too robust.

    • Min – do you mean “rub in rubber” or “rub in butter”?

      • Hehe..what ever takes your fancy Victor..however I am thinking that butter might be a wee bit tastier than rubber. I’ve always found the latter on the chewy side.

  22. Thanks Hexx and Min for your recipe contribution. I better get on with my butt and update the Recipe Page. 🙂

  23. Well im well and truely hitting the take away shops at the moment until i get the kitchen how i like it.

    Im moving the stove across the kitchen to be closer to the sink and benches. The set up helps if your going to be cooking a lot.

    Im also going to expand the garden as QLD has one of the best climates to grow stuff nearly all year round. Hopefully i will start to get right into the cooking again. I miss it after reading this sites ideas

    • Hey Hexx – I really envy you and Min living in the warmer climates. Would you please grow some of my favourites for Asian cooking; galangal, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, banana tree, curry tree, mango tree…….I can keep going. 🙂

      • So far from what i remember of hand i have growing:
        curry (looks like a fern)
        passion fruit tree everywhere
        pawpaw(but never tasted it, size of a persons head)
        Basil, ginger, chilli’s
        sweet potato
        asparagus(yuk so far )
        thats all of them
        I also heard you need a permit or such to grow a banana tree in Queensland. (not sure how true that is)

        what is Galangal used for, what best descibes its taste?

      • Your wish is my command. If you want any young banana leaves just let me know. I haven’t got lemongrass at the moment as the dog ate it 🙂

        • Thanks, Min. If you have banana flower, you should keep it to make some beautiful authentic Thai or Nyonya salad.

          Well, all ten chilli potted plants of mine were eaten by a wallaby! All the leaves and the chillies. Guess the chillies are not hot enough. LOL.

  24. I just listed the items in my garden and it took ages, not sure what button i hit on the keyboard but…. Gone.
    Ill try again with the list later as i need to prepare for dinner, the hard task of ordering takeaway.

    Galangal, what is that used for and what best describes its taste?

    • I use small amount of fresh galangal to make curry spices. Mainly use in Malaysian, Thai (for Tom Yum soup), Vietnamese and Indonesian cooking. It is a rhizome and part of the ginger family, but quite different in taste. Almost earthy and pungent. It goes well with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

  25. Well i had the best takeaway food last night and im not exaggerating either.

    It was delivered (for free too) and when mum left i thought i was cruel for not tipping her, next time.

  26. meatloaf, mash potato and a very oniony gravy.

    I bought one of those erotic aprons so when i bring my frail dad his meal he can get excited, damn it… he just wants to eat more now.

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