Folks, this is another food-related post: home-cooked one. Have you been missing my post and pictures on home-cooked dishes? :P
Mouth-watering dishes wok-ed up by the mil - Nyonya acar fish (for the adults), pan fried silver mullet fish and fish roe (for the kiddos), blanched lady fingers, roast pork and 'char siew' and steamed egg.
Nyonya acar fish is a long lost and forgotten dish that is lip-smacking and whets your appetite. My late maternal grandma used to be a very talented cook and prepared this dish exceptionally well. After her demise in 1992, I have never come across this dish anymore and soon forgot about the existence of this dish UNTIL the hubs bought it for me during my 3 weeks stay in the hospital with Cass at GMC Penang in May 2008. The hubs randomly walked into a 'chap fan' (economy rice) shop along Macalister Street and randomly packed several yummy dishes to bring them to me while I was holed up in the hospital. The 3 weeks holed up in the hospital staring at a sickly 13-month old baby and the four walls and praying that Cass would get well soon was depressing. The only thing I could look forward to was the surprises that the hubs would bring back to the room to cheer me up everyday. Since that day that I tasted this acar fish, we have been patronizing this 'chap fan' shop whenever we made a trip to Penang for Cass' check-up.
During our recent holiday in Penang, the hubs made a trip back to this 'chap fan' shop on Macalister Street and had a few yummy dishes tapau-ed back to Ipoh for my parents. It was then that my dad parted this recipe to the MIL. When we returned to KL, the mil tried the recipe and it turned out pretty well.
Acar fish (which literally translates to pickled fish) is essentially fried fish topped with fried slices of garlic, ginger and tumeric, with a sauce composed of vinegar and sugar. It’s usually garnished with red and green chillies, but we omitted the chillies. I bought a good quality rice vinegar made in Japan for this dish.
The mil used silver mullet fish for this dish, fried to sheer crispiness for the added more-ishness.
It is pretty simple to prepare this dish. Just fry the fish and with the remaining oil, add in the sugar, vinegar and ginger. Pour sauce over fish. Some people leave the fish in a jar with the sauce, like how they would prepare acar. Ours is a simplified and fuss-free version.
You can google Acar Fish / Nyonya Acar Fish recipe and you'll get a handful of recipes. Choose one that is easiest for you to prepare. You can use ready made powdered turmeric like ours or you can slice up some fresh turmeric.
Below - stir-fried mustard green leaves with the mil's homemade fish paste.