Monday, December 26, 2011

Trout with tamarind sauce

 School holidays are here again.  I remember my holidays were always so full of activities.  I spent the day helping in household chores, running around in the street with my friends, cycling, climbing trees, playing cricket, plucking mangoes or tamarinds, playing with clay and making toys, reading or then just doing nothing at all which was also OK.  Then why do I spend hours arguing with my children that if they do not have the computer or TV, they still could have loads of things to do?  Why do their holidays revolve around electronic games?

Is it OK to be bored?  I tell my children that yes, sometimes it is OK not to have anything to do and be bored.  They do not need to be occupied always.  It is not necessary for them to be engaged every minute of the day with something.  However, if I tell them they cannot use the computer, they feel that there is nothing else that they can then do.  They do not realize that there is a whole world out there besides the electronic world they are so used to.  I would need to start taking them on this new re-invention of the world without electronics.  Like my husband says, “they need to be detoxed.”  Not an easy task considering they are almost teenagers, but there is no harm in trying to make them see how many things they can do once they move away from the flickering screen of the computer.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

4 trout, cleaned
6 spring onions, sliced
¼ tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
Fresh red chili, to garnish
For the Sauce:
50 grams tamarind pulp
7 tablespoons boiling water
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 fresh red chili, seeded and chopped
1” piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce


  1. Slash the trout diagonally four or five times on each side.  Place them in a shallow dish that is large enough to hold them all in a single layer.  
  2.  Fill the cavities with spring onions and douse each fish with soy sauce.  Carefully turn the fish over to coat both sides with the sauce.  Sprinkle any remaining spring onions over the top.   
  3. In a bowl, add boiling water over the tamarind pulp.  Mash well with a fork until softened.   
  4. Tip the tamarind mixture into a food processor or blender.  Add the shallots, fresh chili, ginger, sugar and fish sauce.  Process to a coarse pulp and scrape into a bowl.  
  5. Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok and cook the trout, one at a time if necessary, for about 5 minutes on each side, until the skin is crisp and browned and the flesh cooked.   
  6. Put on warmed plates and spoon over some of the sauce.  Chop the coriander and chili and serve with the remaining sauce.


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