Sambal Stingray (II)

Monday, 17 September 2012

The key to making good sambal stingray is a piece of stingray wing that's fresh and young.

There's nothing more disgusting than stale fish . . . . Ok, there are lots, actually, but you know what I mean. The best fish for eating is one that's still swimming. If that's not available, then at least one that's firm, shiny, and hasn't stopped swimming for too long.

Other than the DOD, the DOB is also crucial because younger fish have smoother, silkier meat. How do you tell if the wing you're buying is young? From the size. Young ones have small, thin fins. And small fins are cut triangular. If you see a thick, rectangular piece, that'd be from an old fish with huge fins.

If you've living somewhere where tropical ingredients aren't available fresh, I have good news for you. The banana leaf for sambal stingray is better frozen. Fresh ones burn easily under the grill but after freezing and thawing, the waxy leaves tolerate much higher temperatures.

Once you've bought the ideal stingray wing, it's time to tackle the sambal. If you've had sambal stingray before, you'd know the chilli paste makes or breaks the dish. How to make a good one? By using the best ingredients and patiently frying the spices over low heat. You also have to adjust the seasoning because the ingredients vary in taste. Not all belachans are equally salty fragrant; some shallots are quite tasteless, others intensely aromatic.

The best sambal stingray is barbecued over charcoal. I skip this part this part, I'm afraid, and turn to electricity. You, I'm sure, would let nothing stand in the way of perfection. Your stingray is juicy and moist inside, slightly charred outside, and full of the smoky aroma of charcoal-grilled fish.

Hmm, I don't think I'm saying anything you don't already know. Well, sambal stingray is pretty straightforward in theory. It's all in the execution, isn't it?

Please click here for the recipe.

1 comment:

Alice said...

hhhm yum! my must buy dish if i go to seafood restaurant :)

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