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Fish Paste

fish paste, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

This is my first attempt at making fish paste. Since young, I’ve never been a fan of “asian-styled” fish, namely chinese style steamed fish or fried fish. I would kick up a big fuss everytime my parents tried to get me to eat it. The only kinda fish I would eat willingly was sashimi (japanese style raw fish slices) and canned fish (yes, yes I know…many people say I’m weird). The one other thing I ate was fish balls and yong tau foo, which means “stuffed bean curd”. My mum would make her own fish paste and use it to yong tau foo, or fry with eggs, or make fish cakes.

Since coming to Aus, I’ve not had yong tau foo or homemade fish cakes. Previously, I’ve attempted to make my own fish paste with Trevalla fish but it flopped really badly. This time, I did a bit more research. I know my mum uses “gao yu”, but seeing that I do not know what it’s called in English, I was unable to ge it. I read somewhere, the best fish to use is Mackeral fish. So, Krys and I paid a visit to Mako Seafood at the wharf to see if they stocked any. When we got there, I asked them if they had Mackeral fish and that I wanted it to make fish balls and fish paste. He said that Mackeral is indeed the fish to use due to its oily texture but that as far as he knows, Island Market should be the only place that stocks it.

Oh well, off to Island Market we went. Luckily, we were not disappointed and they do actually sell Mackeral. I bought about 600-800 gms to experiment with and home we went. I found a recipe online and decided to be good for once and follow the steps carefully (I’ve been known to modify my own rcipe and fail horribly in the process!). It turned out pretty good (in my opinion) for a second try. Nice and sticky paste just like mum’s!

Ingredients:

  • 600-800gms Mackeral fish (deboned)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn flour
  • 6 tbsp ice cold water

Method:

  • Scrape the fish meat skin side up.
  • Mince the fish with a blender and mix in the rest of the other ingredients.
  • Stir fish paste with a wooden spoon in one direction to get the springy texture.
  • Store in container.
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Sugarpaste



sugar paste, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.


Engagement Cake 1 (Experiment), originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

Here comes the recipe for the sugarpaste I made for my experimental engagement cake. Like the marzipan, I thought I would flop horribly. Before making both the marzipan and sugarpaste, I spent nights wondering how was I to cover the cake? All the book said was to roll it out on an icing sugar dusted work surface and lift it over the cake then press it down. That didn’t make much sense to me. In my mind, all I was focusing on was the fact that my cake was a round cake and wouldn’t the edges just overlap and cross over each other? Doesn’t that mean my cake will not have the smooth look? All these and more worries of mine were a waste of time! :p I realised as long as you’ve kneaded your marzipan and sugarpaste into a smooth, pliable texture, when you roll it out and lift it over the cake, it’ll just fall nicely and the edges won’t crease over each other. Once done, gently press the sides down and trim off the edges. You should have plenty of leftovers for you to colour and make designs of all sorts.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tsp gelatine
  • 125ml liquid glucose
  • 1 tbsp glycerine
  • 1 kg icing sugar

Method:

  • Sprinkle gelatine over 3 tbsp of water in a bow and leave till it is spongy in texture.
  • Bring a kettle of water to boil and fill it in a pan. Place gelatine bowl in pan and stir till dissolve. Add the glucose and glycerine and stir until melted. Leave to cool for 1 minute.
  • In the meantime, sift 750g icing sugar into a big bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour the gelatine mixture in. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  • Knead until icing has a dough-like texture. Make sure your hands are dry and use the remaining icing sugar to dust your hands and work area so as to prevent sticking.

Note:

  • This recipes makes approximately 1 kg of sugarpaste which is enough to cover a 9 inch cake.

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stuffed chk breast, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.


stuffed chk breast 2, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

Another of my experiments 🙂 . My colleagues and I went to Casablanca in North Hobart for dinner and one of them had chicken breast which was stuffed with stuff in it. That’s where I got my inspiration from. I ruined 2 pieces of chicken breasts trying to figure out the best way to stuff it. Thank God we bought 4 pieces! :p Anyway, the result surpassed my expectations. A lot of people are not fans of chicken breast fillets as they find it a bit dry. The chicken was a lot juicier with the stuffings, just make sure you don’t overbake it or it’ll become dry.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces chicken breast
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Pine nuts
  • Basil pesto
  • Lemon juice
  • Snow peas
  • Salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Chicken stock

Method:

  • Wash chicken breast and set aside. Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Mince sundried tomatoes, then mix with pine nuts and basil pesto in a bowl. Add in 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Using a sharp knife, slit a hole slowly through the middle of the chicken breast, forming a pocket. Use a spoon and slowly stuff the hole with the sundried tomatoes mixture. Repeat steps with the other piece of chicken breast.
  • Rub the chicken breast pieces with salt and black pepper.
  • Heat a frying pan with olive oil. Sear fillets till brown on both side.
  • In a baking tray, wash and lay the snow peas. Place chicken breast on top of the peas, pour 1/2 cup of chicken stock over it.
  • Place baking tray into oven and bake chicken till cook.
  • Remove from oven, arrange snow peas onto serving plate. place fillets on top then ladle some gravy onto chicken. Serve hot.

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This place is definitely one of my favourite joints. For the Fish & Chips lovers out there, this is the place to go. It’s relatively new in comparison to other places in Tassie but since its opening, it has become one of the biggest competitor for places like Mures and The Fish Bar.

The interior setting is contemporary and funky. The basic deco is black and white, with the walls painted with street murals. They’ve also provided cute drawings and colour texters to keep the kids occupied and amused, and a section of the wall has also been set aside to display the after products. Anyone will feel totally at ease and at home here with its light and causal ambience.

Fish 349 is often packed full with people. The one disadvantage is that you can’t make a reservation, but then again, if you could, it would defeat the purpose of it being a “fast food” joint. However, the service here is efficient and fast, especially in comparison to Mures. Often, within 10 minutes at most, we’d receive our order, fresh, hot and delicious! We’ve tried a few items off the menu, my favourite being the Caesar Salad with Seared Scallops. Light and simple, the meal’s filling enough without making one feel nauseous. I’ve also had the Hot and Cold Platter for 2. That’s also another good one to have if you like a taste of different stuff. If it’s just Alan and I, we wouldn’t be able to consume the whole thing, so we normally share this with one or 2 other people and order an extra side. The platter’s got a good mix of deep-fried crumbed prawns (I believe they use shredded coconut), Thai fish cakes, battered fish, fried squid rings, half a dozen of fresh oysters – 3 served with a pear and vinegar sauce, 3 served fresh, a huge serving of smoke salmon slices and cold cut prawns. In addition, there’s a side serving of a pear and parmesan cheese salad. When we first had the salad, we found the taste quite unusual, but after a couple more bites, you’ll grow to love it. :p

There’s also the normal aussie fish and chips, fish baskets etc., but done a lot better than Mures. Most of you by now would gather that I’m not a big fan of Mures. 🙂 But, honestly, the fish and chips taste a lot fresher and better. The ice creams are not too bad as well, especially the ferrero roche – it’s rich, creamy and has bits of ferrero roche in them – YUM!

All in all, this is the place we go whenever we feel like some seafood. Of course, you can go there for some other stuff like steak (a friend of ours tried and said it was good). Whatever it is, I highly recommend it if you want a good meal in a light, casual environment.

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