Almost Zero Footprint Sustainably Caught Fried Red Fish with Pineapple and Tomato Sauce

It should have been titled simply Fried Fish with Sweet Sour Sauce, but I want to make it like a menu in fancy restaurants. This is a common menu in this archipelago, especially among Indonesians of Chinese descendants. I remember Mi would cook it once in a blue moon. I love it because the fish is crispy outside but moist and savory inside. Combined with the sauce, it becomes an explosion of tastes: sweet, sour, tangy, spicy. Delicious!

What makes it special, being in Alor where seafood is queen (or king), the main ingredients (pineapples, tomatoes, chillis, ginger and others) were obtained from within Alor Regency–famous for rich sea produces and spices. Most of them garden-grown by the local aunties who sold them in the market. I bought the fishes from a local fishermen who caught fish sustainably using the bubu bamboo traps. And what made it even more special: it was prepared by Acionk, who with his friends, run a dive shop in Alor Kecil, Air Dive Alor. It is his family’s version of this menu bahari (marine menu):

Almost Zero Footprint Sustainably Caught Fried Red Fishes with Pineapple and Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: 1-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Bahan ikan goreng/Ingredients of fried fish:

  • Fish (we used 4 red groupers and 1 big eye) cleaned, cut half/Ikan (kita beli 4 kerapu merah, 1 ikan mata besar), dibersihkan dan potong dua
  • Tapioca or sago flour/Tepung sagu atau tapioka
  • Sugar, salt, pepper/Gula, garam, merica
  • Garlic, shallots, minced/Bawang merah, bawang putih, cincang halus
  • Ground corriander/Ketumbar bubuk

Bahan saus asam manis/Ingredients of sweet and sour sauce:

  • Pineapple, cleaned, cut small/Nanas, bersihkan, potong kecil-kecil
  • Tomatoes, cut small/Tomat, potong kecil
  • Sugar, salt, pepper/Gula, garam, merica
  • Chillies/Cabai (optional)
  • Ginger, crushed/Jahe, geprek
  • Bawang merah, bawang putih/Garlics, shallots
  • Onion/Bawang bombay
  • Lemon
  • Sweet soy sauce/Kecap asin
  • Ground coriander/Ketumbar bubuk

Cara membuat/Directions:

  • Fish: mix flour and other spices with a little water. Put fish into the mixture until all is covered. Deep fry in hot oil until it turns crispy. Campurkan tepung dan bumbu-bumbu dengan sedikit air. Masukkan ikan sampai tertutup tepung. Goreng sampai matang.
  • Sauce: heat oil, put ginger and stir for a while. Put spices and stir fry until the kitchen smells spicy. Put tomatoes and pineapples. Add some water if necessary. Let it simmer and put some sweet soy sauce. When the pineapple turns softer, thicken the sauce with a mixture of water and flour and let it thickens. Serve sauce and fish separately. Tumis jahe lalu masukkan bumbu-bumbu. Tambahkan nanas dan tomat. Beri sedikit air jika perlu. Kalau nanas sudah layu, kentalkan dengan campuran air dan tepung. Biarkan saus mengental, lalu angkat dan sajikan terpisah.

Oh the smell, the taste, the look…. Can I add take some more?


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