I learned this dish from my Mother-in-law, and in turn I think she learned it from her Mother too. I like recipes like these. But like most "Mama's recipe", nothing is written down. You learn by tasting the dish, asking questions and watching them cook. After that, good luck and try not to screw up.
I guess when it comes to cooking, there is no hard and fast rules. Most importantly is to:
1. BUY FRESH INGREDIENTS (especially FISH)
2. GET THE TIMING RIGHT
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the freshness of the fish. I've learnt the lesson the hard way and the dish had came out tasting fishy and horrible. If you are cooking the dish today, buy the fish this morning. The wonderful taste of the fresh fish makes up to 60% of the dish!
The timing part, I don't know how to teach you except to use your eyes and experience. The bigger the fish, the longer it takes. I have cooked so many undercooked, overcooked fishes myself! Check every so often if you are new to this and as time goes by, your experience will guide you through.
So important notes aside, let's go to the recipe
Fish (mine was about 600-700g)
2 tbsp Cornflour
1 tsp salt
a dash of pepper
3 stalks Leeks
1 slice of ginger
water or soup stock
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
- Cut pork into thin slices and marinate in a little soya sauce.
- Peel away the outer layer of leek. Slice leeks diagonally and only use the lighter colour part of the stalk. Wash thoroughly.
- Slice tomatoes and remove seeds.
- Make cuts on the fish.
- Mix cornflour, salt and pepper together and rub all over the fish.
- Heat up oil and fry the fish for only 2-3 minutes on each side. (We don't want to cook the fish, just fry the outside) Set aside.
- Heat up wok with a tablespoon of oil and stir fry ginger, pork and leeks for a minute. (careful they burn easily, lower heat if the edges started to char)
- Add water or soup stock till the ingredients are covered. Add 1 teaspoon soya sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar and bring to boil.
- When sauce is boiling, add fish and tomato slices. Put on the lid and cook in low heat for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, check if the fish is cooked all the way to the bone. If cooked, dish up. If not cooked yet, gently flip the fish over and cook for another 4 minutes. Done!