Winter is on in the city and festival is on in the kitchen! This is Kolkata. In summer, we observe a downward trend in the variety of fishes available in the market. But winter is just the opposite. I had got a fresh Asian Sea Bass again this week and ended up in a moderately satisfactory experiment with it in my kitchen. The reason I mention it as ‘moderately satisfactory’ is, to some extent its taste got deviated from my expectations but people including myself liked whatever the way it was when served! Your improvisations are welcome.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Take the fish boneless cut into small cubes (weighing 500 gm) in a big bowl and mix with an egg, cornflour, salt and crushed black pepper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables: green, yellow and red bell peppers – petal cut; half a cup each, onion – petal cut; half a cup, chopped scallions – half a cup, a couple of green chilies chopped, half a cup of chopped garlic, 1 tsp of chopped ginger. Take the fish and deep fry in wok until the pieces become golden brown. Keep the fish aside and heat up fresh oil in wok again. Add garlic and fry until brownish. Then add ginger and chili followed by 1 tsp of crushed black pepper. Stir fry quickly and add 1.5 tsp of dark soy sauce, 1 tsp of red wine vinegar (I have used Colavita) and 1 tsp of fish sauce. Quickly add the bell peppers and onions followed by the scallions and stir fry. Add 2 tsp of black bean sauce and mix well. Taste and add salt and sugar accordingly. Quickly stir and add water mixed with 1 tsp of cornflour. Reduce the heat, mix well and adjust the seasoning by adding salt, sugar, black pepper and water if required. Once done, increase the heat and add the fish to the wok. Mix so that the sauce coats the fish evenly. Finish with 0.75 tsp of Chinese cooking wine and remove from heat. Garnish with scallions and crushed black pepper and serve hot immediately with steamed rice or fried rice.