Monday night is usually fish night at our place and I shopped for the ingredients for this while at Little Saigon yesterday. It’s another dish from KOTO so doesn’t get me any closer towards my cookbook goal but it intrigued me so I wanted to give it a go – the marinade is unusual and the fish is cooked twice, first grilled, then deep-fried – a bit out of my comfort zone.
The dish, fried rockling with turmeric, dill and vermicelli, requires a paste to be made from a 3 cm peeled piece of galangal, 1 long red chilli, 2 tbsp ground turmeric and 1 tbsp sugar. To this paste is added 3 tbsp of fermented prawns and 2 1/2 tbsp of water to make a marinade. Chunks of rockling are then marinated in this for 2hrs. Once I had done this, my daughter came home. I was greeted with “what’s that smell?” and “that’s disgusting!” which is probably fair enough as it’s a reasonably challenging aroma.
Anyway, that’s basically the recipe. Fish is lightly grilled so as not to be cooked all the way through. Then deep-fried in batches with some dill and spring onions added at the end of the deep fry to wilt. Serve on top of rice vermicelli and top with chopped, roasted unsalted peanuts. Add accompaniments of thai basil leaves, coriander leaves and dipping sauce to taste. Tastes better cooked than it smelt in the uncooked state – a lot better.