Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fried Starbutterfish

This is as simple as it can get when preparing fish in my opinion, it's simple, just salt, pepper, and deep-fry fish and serve with a dipping sauce and other sides.

I discovered the delicious Starbutterfish when I visited my friend Shantall, her mother often prepares this fish in a variety of way's, one of them is how I will show you here.

Starbutterfish is also known as "Harvestfish" or just "butterfish", they resemble the "Pomfret" type fish except hte Starbutterfish are smaller.

I bought the fish because it is affordable (I bought it at "Seafood City" I must say though I hate that they don't update their website much, the specials from Christmas and New Years are still up), I like the taste, and it's easy to prepare, it was already gutted, cleaned, and fins and tail removed when I bought, just a quick rinse, and more cleaning of the inside just to make sure.

Main Ingredients:
-8 Starbutterfish (cleaned, gutted, etc.)
-salt to taste
-black pepper to taste
-oil to deep-fry (enough to submerge fish)
Dipping Sauce Ingredientes:
-fresh calamansi juice (I didn't have calamansi so I used limes you can use lemon to I guess)
-soy sauce in equal amount to calamansi juice, or less to taste but no more than equal amount.

or other dipping sauce Ingredients:
-white vinegar (preferably cane or coconut vinegar)
-soy sauce or patis (if using fish sauce, use very little just to change color slightly of the vinegar)

(1)Heat wok until it throws a small whif of mist (this is called "wok hei" or the "breat hof the wok") then add oil and let it heat for about 5-10 minutes.

(2)Meanwhile salt and pepper the fish well, then add to the hot oil in batches until crisp on both sides about 3-4 minutes on each side, remove and drain on paper towels.

(3)Mix dipping sauce ingredients whichever you choose to make.

(4)Serve preferably with steamed white jasmine rice, cooked vegetables, and pickled vegetables because the acidity of the pickled vegetables go very well with this meal, "Bittermelon Salad" is great with this, or any other pickled veggies, I went I guess "non" traditional, and served it with the Mexican pickled Jalapeños and carrot with pickled onion and oregano a long with some steamed Cauliflower with a soy sauce vinegar dip, very delicious and healthy.


(1)What I like about this fish is that when fried the bones are so sensetive that most become edible like when you buy canned sardines with soft bones, the center sometimes stays firm but is easily removable, so it's a good fish for those afrain of choking on spines.

(2)You can do this with other fish you may like I'm sure.

(3)Ha ha I don't know what one would call this fish in Spanish maybe "Pez Mantequilla"? ha ha that sounds silly.