The commonsense Indonesian and Malaysian cookery book, 124pp.
by Ella Mei Wong
Angus and Robertson Publishers, Sydney, 1978
Cooking on page 32
Until I started to write this post, I hadn’t realised that this book is part of a series of commonsense cookery books. There’s a general edition, as well as Indian, Greek, International and Chinese versions, with the latter also written by Ella Mei Wong.
I’ve never seen any of the others on my expeditions through second-hand bookstores, but I’ll be on the lookout in future.
As far as I can tell, Wong has written about 10 cookbooks with most focusing on Chinese food. She has been a noted teacher of Chinese and Southeast Asia cooking, and is well-known in the Far East for her television programs on food and home economics.
I can’t remember when or where I bought this book, but $6.50 is written in pencil on the inside front page.
Page 32 is in the chapter on fish and has two Indonesian recipes.
Sliced fish with ginger sauce (yue pin geury jup)
kg (2 lb) fillet of fish (rock cod, jewfish, flake, king)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger oil (see below)
1 teaspoon green ginger, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons green ginger, minced
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fish stock
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
Cut the fish into pieces 5cm x 1 cm (2 in x 1/2 in). Sprinkle with salt and mix with the sesame oil and ginger oil.
Roll each slice in cornflour.
Heat wok, add oil and when hot, fry the fish slices until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
To make ginger sauce, mix ginger, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, salt and stock together in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add mushrooms and onions and cook until tender, for approximately 5 minutes.
Stir in the cornflour blended with water and cook until the sauce thickens.
Pour immediately over the fish slices.
How it played out
Yesterday at the markets, I found John Dory (one of my favourite types of fish) on special for $15 a kilo, so that helped me decide what to make for dinner.
I made the ginger oil first, so I could marinate the fish. Very sensibly, I recruited Poor John to mince the ginger with the mezzaluna. It’s a wonderful gadget that gets used regularly in my kitchen. Poor John is almost always the ‘driver’.
To marinate the fish, I used ALL the ginger oil. Seemed silly to use just a teaspoon when the whole batch was only 4 teaspoons. Also used two teaspoons of sesame oil because it is a flavour I adore.
The only other changes were that I cut the fish in slightly larger pieces—about 2 inches by 1 inch. I also needed an extra 2 tablespoons of cornflour to coat all the fish pieces.
The fish fried up beautifully, and I made and cooked the sauce as written. I was pleased to get portobello mushrooms on special at the market.
Served with broccoli and a mixed green salad.
Oh wow, what a great way to fry fish. The cornflour was just enough to give the pieces a bit of crunch and the sauce and marinade were both packed with flavour.
Petra said Mum this is the very best new dish you’ve made in ages. Given that I make a couple of new dishes a week, that a huge compliment for this recipe.
We made piggies of ourselves. Even though it’s supposed to serve six, both Poor John and Petra went back for seconds, and then there were only enough leftovers to send a container home with Petra to have for lunch.
While I can recommend many delicious Indonesian dishes, I can’t recommend their ‘executive’ bus services. If you have a moment, check out the hot, steamy and kinky bus ride we had across the island of Sumatra.