When a warm tropical thunderstorm ceases I'm happy. I feel as fresh as a cold, squirmy fish soaking in a sharp, chilly lake in the lush, mountain jungles of Borneo. With a camera. Snapping cheerfully at my bowl of fish floss. Knees in a puddle, slipping about on wet leaves.
It's the after rain feeling I'm having now. A little bouncy, blithe, light and gurgly. Its the ions. You know ~ the negetive ions~.
And strangely enough my fish floss look almost like fish food. Fish food fit for a Fish King. Or for the Queen of Fish.
That's how gurgly I'm feeling right now.......pheash forgive me.
Tuna is what I used. 3 whole tunas, filleted, skinned, poached and crumbled. And spiced up with some chillie, coriander seeds, onions, garlic, ginger and tumeric.
It's an appetizer, a side dish, a sandwich filler. It can be eaten as a topping for fried rice, with steamed glutinous rice or with bread for breakfast or as a snack. I love it. It's one of my favourite appetizers. If only it requires less time to make and if it lasts longer around the house.
This is one of those childhood food that I remember fondly of but rather vaguely because it was always presented to us or bought for special occasions but never made.
The light, airy flossed meat, fish or chicken that I remember is not something one can achieve at home. It usually looks like it has been shredded into strands and then beaten to a pulp until it's looks light and fluffy. Like it was done by a machine. Or a maniac.
But if you make it at home it will
Now..... Zurin here didn't want that. So to achieve that lightness that she does so covet I pulsed the cooked fish floss in the food processor until the little balls of fish floss became fine, light and airy.
I thought it looked much better. You're welcome.
650 gm of cooked fish meat (tuna, mackeral or any meaty fish) I used 3 whole tunas about 12 inches from tip to tail. You could also use an equal amount of minced beef or chicken.
6 medium onions
1 inch ginger
1/2 inch galangal
2 stalks lemon grass (white part only)
3 T coriander seed, pounded coarsely
1 T or more chillie paste (bottled or fresh)
2 tsp tumeric powder
1 T sugar
250 ml coconut milk or cream
5 T any vegetable oil
Poach the fillets of fish in pan of water until cooked. Drain and let cool. Remove bones and crumble the meat until it is as fine as you can get it....like breadcrumbs. Keep aside.
Peel onions, garlic ginger, galangal. Slice the white part of the lemon grass. Place them all in a food proccesor and process until quite fine.
Heat up the oil in a thick based medium pot. Saute the processed spices, while adding the chillie paste, tumeric powder and pounded coriander seeds, until fragrant and the paste turns a darker colour. About 10 to 15 minutes.
Put in the crumbled fish meat, pour in the coconut milk or cream and mix well. Let it cook on the stove on small to medium heat, stirring now and then to prevent burning. Ad sugar and salt. Stir and mix.
The mixture should not have any sauce or gravy but should be quite like a thick wet paste. Cook until it becomes slightly drier and it is no longer too wet.
Transfer the mixture to a large baking tray that has been lined with foil or baking paper for easier cleaning.
Bake in an oven at 170 C, checking and stirring every 15 minutes until the fish floss becomes golden all over.
Stirring the floss as it bakes is important so that the floss browns evenly. I didn't time the baking but I think it took about an hour.
Remove and let it cool completely. Pour half the floss into a food processor and pulse until the floss becomes fine, light and airy. Do the same for the rest of the floss.
Store in an airtight container and in the refrigerator.
Top or Snack.