Sweet & Sour Fish Tiles & Cauliflower Fried Rice

Sad news! My favourite, friendly, local Oriental supplies shop has ceased trading. The very friendly proprietor Crystal has thankfully directed me to an alternative shop for my needs, but now I have to mission it to SeeWoo in Charlton to get my beloved Chinese supplies.

In honour of the passing of Crystal's Palace and because I've been dying to try cauliflower rice, last night's dinner was very much Chinese themed.

Now, I have a terrible habit of collecting cookery books and barely ever even glancing at them, this is not the case for Fuschia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice. Bought for me by my very astute partner one Christmas, this is one cookery book that I regularly leaf through (as can be seen by the tabbing and grease stains), and even when not following a specific recipe, it has given me the knowledge and confidence to make Chinese style dishes off the cuff on the regular, and I do. However, last night was a time for mostly following a recipe, discounting the tiny adaptations I made due to dwindling spring onion supplies and having hake in the freezer. It was one I hadn't tried before and used a batter I also hadn't previously attempted, and one that whilst making it up I was starting to worry that it would be too thin and wet and not coat the fish at all, but I persevered and lo and behold, it made a deliciously light and crispy gluten free coating that I will certainly be using again. Have faith people!

The fish was delicious and the sauce was scrumptiously sticky, it does however have a lot of sugar in it, 5 tablespoons between 2 people seems a bit excessive to me; thank goodness I removed the carbs from the rice. If I made it again, I would definitely reduce the sugar, as I don't think a little less would be detrimental to the taste, but you should definitely give it a go. Once you've got the essentials Chinese cooking is simple, intuitive and leads to such delectable dinners I don't know why more people don't do it. Well, outside of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, obviously.

Fuschia's Sweet & Sour Fish Tiles and My Cauliflower Egg Fried Rice

fish tiles:
2 hake fillets, cut into bite size chunks
1 spring onion, chopped
2 small red chillies, deseeded and very finely chopped
cooking oil
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped

for the batter:
2 tsp Shoaxing wine
1/4 tsp salt
1 small egg
4 tbsp potato flour
1/2 tsp cooking oil

for the sauce:
5 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp potato flour
5 tbsp water

for the fried rice:
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 courgette, diced
1 onion, diced
1 leek, chopped
1/2 red pepper finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 eggs
sesame oil (optional)

  1. Get a small, deep saucepan of hot oil on to heat for deep frying your fish. Place your fish in a bowl, add in the Shoaxing wine and salt and mix to coat. Crack in the egg and repeat. Then the potato flour and finally the oil. Once your oil is hot, fry off your coated fish in small batches and drain on kitchen roll. Warm a serving plate in a low oven to keep your fish on once drained.
  2. Get 2 frying pans or woks on to a moderate heat. Grate your cauliflower finely, I used a food processor for ease, but if you're brave and patient a box grater will do. In a clean bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce.
  3. In one frying pan, add a little of the fish oil and fry off the finely chopped ginger, garlic and pepper for the fish until fragrant. Pour in the sauce, lower the heat and simmer and reduce.
  4. In the other frying pan in a little fish oil, soften the onion, garlic, leek, red pepper and courgette. Once softened add in your cauliflower and cook until lightly browned, I also added in a little sesame oil to coat the cauli and add some flavour. Once browned, make a hollow and crack in your eggs and mix.
  5. Pour your sticky sauce over your fish tiles and serve your cauliflower rice in a separate dish. Enjoy. Try not to lick the bowl. We failed. Miserably. Even the dog was disappointed there was no lickage left. Sorry Nancy.


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