Catch in the Kitchen - Whole fish in ginger and tamarind sauce

by Michael Bok

One fish that is often caught in some parts of Tasmania whilst fishing for trout is the humble redfin. Most people tend to think of this as a rubbish fish and don't do much with it. Personally, I would prefer to eat redfin to trout.

Simply filleted, boned and fried in a little butter they are superb (as is most fish). If you want to try something different, try the following recipe.

Whole fish in ginger and tamarind sauce

½ kilo redfin (head and tail left on)

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium spring onion, thinly sliced, lengthwise

¼ cup peeled and shredded ginger

2 tablespoons of tamarind pulp soaked in a quarter cup of warm water

3 tablespoons fish sauce

3 tablespoons sugar

1 spring onion

2 tablespoons cornflour, dissolved in 3 tablespoons of cold water

Score the fish on both sides with 3 or 4 Xs each about 40mm long and 4 mm deep. Rub cavity of fish lightly with ¼ teaspoon salt.

Bring water to the boil and then put the lid on. Place fish into a steamer (if you don't own a steamer you can buy a cheap steamer gadgets that fit into saucepans). You know the redfin is done when it flakes if you poke it with a fork. In a wok, or large frypan, heat oil, add garlic. Spring onion and ginger and stir fry for a minute, or until fragrant. Strain the tamarind, reserving the pulp and the juice. Add tamarind juice, remaining pinch of salt, fish sauce and sugar and bring to boil. Add ¼ cup water to reserved tamarind pulp and restrain into a cup. Add the rest of the tamarind juice and spring onions and bring to boil. Add cornflour mixture and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Remove fish from the steamer onto a platter and drizzle with sauce. This recipe would also be nice on bream which are starting to bite at the moment.  
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