September 10, 2011

Fish Yassa - Senegal

Please read Welcome Note first----it's over there, yes there on the right hand corner of the blog.

Tonight I ended up cooking something I had no intention of cooking. I thought I took out the meat to defrost, turns out I took out the fish instead. So I found myself with a lovely filet, waiting to be cooked.

I must say I was disappointed because I really wanted to prepare that other recipe which I will share with you tomorrow insha'Allah but since it was Fish, so be it.

Just as it so happens, a Senegalese friend of mine, told me of a fish recipe. He was a little drunk when he gave me the measures, so I researched it and simplified it.

Fish Yassa.

I used cod filet because this is what I had, am told you can use any fish. Personally I like it easy and quick. So filet is perfectly fine.

For two people you will need

- 2 pieces of Fish filet about 300grs.
- 2-3 onions finely chopped
- 2 gloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 tbs of DIJON Mustard
- 2 tbs of FRESH lemon Juice
- 2-3 tbs of cooking oil - I use sunflower
- red chili /cayenne - I like it hot so 1/4 tsp or a little more for me
- black pepper - a dash
- 2 flat tbs of Tamarind syrup - if you don't have tamarind use Soya Sauce, but Tamarind is much nicer.
- 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1 vegetable stock (cube)
- 1 cup of boiling water.
- vegetables: I used frozen peas and carrots (about half a cup) and 2 potatoes peeled and sliced in cubes, or you can opt for one potato and some Brussels sprouts (sliced in 2) or regular finely chopped cabbage - about a handful.

Preparation made easy :

- heat oil and put the minced onions and garlic until tender and golden brown.
- add your chili, pepper, cinnamon, Dijon mustard, Tamarind or Soya sauce, lemon juice and stir well on a medium heat, mixture should look like a paste.
- now add your cube/stock diluted in 1 cup of boiling water, stir well
- put in your vegetables, let it boil once and then lower heat until all your vegetables are cooked and the sauce thickens, but make sure it's not too thick. So add a little water if necessary (remember it's not a soup)


- In a separate non stick frying pan - heat a good quantity of cooking oil, I stress on that bit, the oil must be really hot because you will be frying the fish in it. If the oil is not hot enough, the fish will break into pieces. We don't want that to happen. So be patient and heat your oil well before putting in the fish. If you don't like it fried you can grill it instead. I prefer fried because the fish stays hard.

- the fish must be fried until GOLDEN BROWN and a little crispy.

- remove the fish, put it on a kitchen towel paper to absorb the oil and leave aside.

- once your sauce is ready, put the fish inside the sauce and cover it well with your mix so it can absorb all the flavors.

- prepare rice and serve Fish Yassa on top of rice.

Enjoy and see you tomorrow Insha'Allah for a new recipe.