Saira

Salmon Fish Sticks With OOOOMPH

Sometimes, you just don’t want a full on dish for dinner. Whilst tucking in to a meal works well most nights, there are some nights you want a little freedom. Perhaps a beer and some think that doesn’t require a fork and knife. Last Wednesday was an evening like that for my husband. He wanted to chill and munch on something right form the couch. Salmon was already on the cards, only, instead of doing my Asian preparation, which involved oyster sauce and sticky rice, I decided to make fish sticks. These were no ordinary fish sticks that were flour-dredged, egg-dipped, bread-crumbed and fried. These sticks had so much oomph that he didn’t even need ketch-up or hot sauce on the side.

Since the meal was so basic, I was determined to make a stellar crust that would take this fish stick over the edge. My ingredient to achieve this; rice flour. Rice flour is used extensively in Asia and it produces a skin that is light and crunchy. The flour was seasoned with crushed red chili flakes, coriander powder and a generous helping of black pepper. Once the fish sticks were fried, they were given another layer of seasoning by being tossed in a spice mixture of chaat masala, salt and chili powder. The result was finger lickin’ good.

Recipe for Salmon Sticks
Ingredients
1 lb. salmon (cut in to 1 ½ cm wide strips)
¼ cup rice flour (elephant brand)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. red chili flakes
1 tsp. coriander powder
oil for frying
Handful of cilantro

Dry Spice Mixture
1 tsp. chat masala (MDH brand available at Indian grocery stores or ethnic stores like Kalustyans)
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. chili powder

Method

1) Heat oil for frying the fish
2) Combine all the dry ingredients and layout on a large flat plate. Coat the fish on both sides and fry in to the hot oil

Dredging in spiced rice flour

Dredging in spiced rice flour

3) When the fish is golden and almost cooked through, remove and drain on paper towels (it should be opaque in the middle)
4) Toss the sticks gently in the dry spice mixture and throw fresh cilantro strands over the top

Saira Malhotra, is of British–Indian descent and is a chef, food writer and cooking instructor based in New York City. Raised in Hounslow, U.K, or rather ‘Little India’, where the air is aromatic with roasted spices, little did Saira know these moments would follow her from being a student in France and Italy to residing in NYC with her husband and kids and parlay themselves unexpectedly in to a culinary career. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. Come visit her at her food blog: www.passportpantry.com where she shares approachable and international recipes

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