This morning, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Nadia Kidwai, I presented a dish from North India and a Sichuan fish dish. So yummy together as well as quite simple to prepare!
The local whitefish is related to salmon, caught wild in Manitoba, and is higher in omega fatty acids than in salmon. It is a sustainable fish. This fish was brought down yesterday from fishers 9 hours North of Winnipeg. It is available at Gimli Fish.
The Pea Flour that I used for the Cheela, was from Tamarack Farm. Traditionally, this lovely flatbread is made with Chick Pea flour, or Besan. The local pea flour is a wonderful ingredient for this incredibly simple dish!
Sichuan Crispy Whitefish
1 whole whitefish (available at Gimli Fish)*
2 ½ tbs shaoxin rice wine
2 ½ tbs finely chopped ginger
½ tsp salt
Oil to deep fry fish in wok
2 -4 spring onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ½ tsp chilli bean paste
1 cup stock or water
2 ½ tbs soy sauce
3 tsp sugar
2 tbs Chinese black vinegar
1 tbs corn flour
At 1 inch intervals, cut scores into the fish diagonally through to the bone on both sides.
Mix shaoxin rice wine with 2 tsps ground ginger and salt. Place the fish into a dish and spread the wine, ginger, salt mixture all over the fish. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat wok filled ¼ of oil, to medium heat. Holding the fish by the tail, slide in to cook. Cook for 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of the fish, or until brown on both sides. For extra crispy, dredge the fish first in corn starch. After cooking, drain fish on paper towel and set aside.
Remove oil from wok, leaving 1 ½ tbs of oil. Heat oil to sauté green onions, ginger, garlic, chili bean paste for about 10-20 seconds. Add rice wine, water or stock, soy, sugar, and black vinegar and bring to a boil. Add fish and heat, covered, for another 10 minutes.
Cook up the remaining sauce in pan with a bit of water and corn starch until thickened. Serve over the fish with fresh coriander and/or more green onions.
Cheela with Local Pea Flour
There are many variations of this very simple flatbread. It can be prepared plain or with many kinds of spices and vegetables. This one today is made with Tamarack Farms Pea Flour, instead of Besan, or Chick pea flour. This is also a Gluten-Free flatbread.
2 cups Pea Flour (available today at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market from Tamarack Farms)
1 tbs chat masala (or chilies, garam masala, etc.)
1-2 chopped shallots (I used dried shallots today)
Salt, to tastes
Water, to make a smooth batter, like a crepe consistency
Oil, for cooking
Combine pea flour, seasonings, salt, etc in a bowl. Stir in water to make a crepe batter consistency. Heat pan and spread like a thin pancake. Pour 1 tsp oil on the sides and cook on medium heat until each side is golden.
Serve hot with dishes or chutneys.