Tommy Ruff in Turmeric and Chili

2013-07-12
  • Yield : 3
  • Servings : 2 - 3
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 5m
  • Ready In : 25m

Ingredients

  • 500g Whole Tommy Ruff – or similar kind of fish
  • 1 level teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 level teaspoon chili powder or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Lemon/Lime juice/tamarind (optional)
  • Oil for shallow or deep frying

Method

A whole fish was originally used for this recipe but about 3 medium to large Tommy’s would match the weight of the whole fish.   Scale, gut and wash the fish clean then remove the head and tail if preferred as shown on the photo. Wipe with a paper towel and let it drain on more paper towels. Make two or three shallow slits on the fish. Now mix together the turmeric, chili, salt and 2 teaspoons of juice or tamarind pulp if used. Rub the fish inside and all over the outside with this mixture and set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

In a shallow or deep fry pan add enough oil to shallow or to deep fry the fish. when the oil is hot fry each side of the fish for 2 to 3 minutes  this will also depend on the thickness of the fish, alter cooking time accordingly. Leave it frying for longer if you prefer a crunchy texture. See suggestions.  Remove the fish from the oil and let it drain in a colander or on a paper towel and serve as a side dish with rice.

Variations and Suggestions

Fish such as snapper, mackerel, sardines, mullet and others similar to these can be used for this dish. This was a staple diet of mine when growing up.  My mum and family fried fish like this recipe and fish curry on daily basis, meat was only cooked once a week or on special occasions. Fish fried in this method is well known throughout South East Asia especially in Malaysia and neighbouring countries as well as in Southern India. I know that most people in these countries like this dish to be fried so much that they have an almost burnt crispy texture for that extra crunch so that the finer bones of the fish can be eaten too. In the West however most fish is cooked while retaining softness of the flesh and the retaining the taste of the sea. If my mother could smell and taste the sea from her fried fish she would make sure that the fish went back into the frying again because fish fried in Malaysia would have to be fried well.  For Western tastes I would cook it less, just till the spices have cooked and while the fish is still soft, then I would sprinkle each fish with some lemon or lime juice.  I don’t mind it either way as long as I can eat it with some rice, yum!

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