SINGAPORE - Braised fish head slathered in piping hot savoury gravy is one of the top items on my list of comfort foods. The fishmonger I go to recommends black garoupa as its meat can withstand the double-cooking process of deep-frying – for a crispy exterior – and quick braise.
Fish head aficionados will appreciate the fine meatiness of garoupa, as well as the luscious gumminess of its gelatinous parts. For those who cannot take the heat of spicy foods like fish head curry, braised fish head is a good option. Cook rice to serve with the braised fish head, and it is possible to host a dinner party for six to eight without tiring yourself out in the kitchen. The dish is packed with vegetables for a nutritious and satisfying meal.
Instead of cooking the fish head whole, I prefer to have it cut up into large pieces. This makes it easy to deep-fry and shortens the cooking time.
Carrot, napa cabbage, onion and leek add natural sweetness to the dish. I particularly like the texture of dried beancurd sticks soaked in gravy. Tomatoes add a touch of tanginess to prevent the dish from being cloying.
While the claypot is commonly used to serve up braised fish head, I find that the 5-litre sauce pot from Corningware Plasma Cast Aluminium Cookware puts in an admirable performance in place of a claypot.
You can prepare the gravy and braise the fish in the same pot. Better yet, the sleek design of the pot makes it attractive enough to double up as serveware. The non-stick coating also makes it easy to remove food remnants at the bottom of the pot after you are done with the meal.
The Corningware Plasma Cast Aluminium Cookware is a new line of cookware recently launched by kitchenware maker and distributor Corelle Brands. The product line includes a 28-cm saute pan and a 32-cm wok.
Care for your cookware
- Corningware Plasma Cast Aluminium Cookware 24-cm (5-litre) sauce pot
1. Before using the cookware for the first time, hand wash it thoroughly with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry.
2. Use cooking utensils made of wood, nylon, silicone or plastic for your cookware.
3. Always allow the cookware to cool completely before cleaning. For stubborn residue, make cleaning easier by pouring hot water and a little detergent into the cookware. Allow the water to cool before washing.
You can also use the sauce pot for deep-frying the fish, but I choose to use the 32-cm wok for this as I can fry more pieces of fish head at a time.
The cookware, crafted from cast aluminium, has excellent heat distribution and you need only low to medium heat to cook your food. The cookware also has a patented medical grade bio-ceramic coating that stands up to abrasion and heat well. The cookware can be used on gas, induction, halogen and electric coil cookers.
This recipe caps a six-part series featuring kitchenware from Corelle Brands.
BRAISED FISH HEAD
1 whole garoupa fish head (2kg), cut into large pieces, about 8-cm in length
2 tsp salt
1.2 litres cooking oil (Reserve 3 Tbs of used cooking oil to cook the gravy later)
25g ginger, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 carrot (140g) halved lengthwise and sliced
200g napa cabbage, cut into 5cm by 3cm pieces
4 Tbs oyster sauce
120g dried beancurd sticks, soaked and broken into 8-cm lengths
1.2 litres of water
2 Tbs light light soy sauce
1 Tbs Shaoxing wine
2 tomatoes (280g), sectioned
1 onion, 150g, sectioned
3 Tbs cornflour
3 Tbs water
Dash of white pepper
1 stalk of leek (60g), diagonally sliced
10g spring onion, sliced into 5-cm lengths
5g fresh coriander leaves
1. Place the fish head in deep dish and season with salt.
2. Dredge each piece of fish in cornflour.
3. Heat oil in wok over medium heat.
4. Fry the pieces of fish head in batches of four or five pieces until golden brown and crisp.
5. Place the fried pieces on kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.
6. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the used oil. Heat this oil in the sauce pot over medium heat.
7. Fry the sliced ginger for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
8. Add the chopped garlic and fry for another minute until fragrant.
9. Add the carrot and fry for 2 minutes.
10. Add the napa cabbage.
11. Add the oyster sauce, fry for a minute and add the dried beancurd sticks.
12. Add the 1.2 litres of water. Add the light soy sauce and Shaoxing wine.
13. Add the tomatoes and onion. Stir, cover the pot and bring to a boil.
14. In a small bowl, mix the 3 tablespoon water and 3 tablespoon cornflour. Add this mixture into the wok.
15. Add a dash of pepper.
16. Place the fried fish pieces in the claypot.
18. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
19. Add the leek and let simmer for 1 minute.
20. Garnish with spring onion and coriander.
21. Serve hot.
Kitchenware courtesy of Corelle Brands
Enjoy discounted prices when you purchase Corningware Plasma Cookware from now until the end of October (2018), while stocks last.
The promotional price for the 28-cm saute pan is $79 (usual price: $99), the 32-cm wok is $89 (usual price: $109) , and the 24-cm sauce pot is at $69 (usual price: $89).
The cookware is available for purchase at BHG Bugis, Tangs VivoCity, OG Albert, OG Orchard Point, OG People’s Park.
Corningware is celebrating its 60th anniversary with roadshows. For more information, go to www.corellebrandsasia.com/event-promotions
For enquiries, call 6468-2008.