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论老子

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XO sauce as gravy for fish  

2014-04-09 12:54:31|  分类: Fusion Cooking |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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       Background: When a cooked fish is served, the fish and its gravy are mixed as one complete dish. However, few people realized the fish and gravy is best cooked separately, fish is fish and gravy is gravy. These two shall be mixed together as one just before serving. For some dishes, especially, the gravy is watery or is soup-based, the gravy and fish could be mixed together and continue to let it simmer for a few minutes and not too long, though.

Gravy gives us an idea that there must be a significant amount of (thick or thin) gravy that goes with the main dish which by itself is quite bland. For example, chicken and pork are quite tasteless. The gravy becomes the major distinguishing factor for the signature of the dish. Thicker gravy goes well with drier and smaller food, while thinner gravy goes well with wet and large pieces of the main food.   

My idea: The XO sweet and spicy sauce (Pls refer to Sweet and spicy XO chili sauce) is used as a based stock to provide three main aspects of delicious gravy. First, a strong aroma of deep-fried onion, garlic and dry shrimp is often desired. Second, the rich spiciness of chili padi overwhelmed by sweetness smoothers your taste buds while you enjoy the nascent spiciness of chili. Third, after having a full meal, it let you enjoy the lingering effect of spiciness in your mouth lasting for at least half an hour.

Procedure: irrespective of thicker or thin gravy

Step 1: Sliced carrot into thin strands and a piece of tomato into six wedges.

Step 2: Add water three times more than you eventually need as gravy. In the process of cooking, the steam let off is more than half the original volume.

Step 3: Pour in the stranded carrots and tomato.

Step 4: Cover up the frying pan with its lid to allow the water to boil.

Step 5: Open up the lid to let the water vapor evaporate in order to get thicker gravy.

Step 6: When the remaining water is about the right volume of gravy that you wanted, stop heating.

XO sauce as gravy for fish - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 7: Scoop a teaspoon of the XO chili sauce and add it to the gravy in the frying pan.

Step 8: Stir to mix them thoroughly. The gravy is ready to be served. Important note: Do not heat the XO chili sauce. Heating will cause its rich aroma of garlic, shallots and dry shrimp to evaporate off. Like-wise, the capsaicin (essence of spiciness of chili) will evaporate off.

Finished product:

XO sauce as gravy for fish - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Notes: Taste of the gravy.

1) The carrot gives it a sweet taste liked by most people.

2) The spiciness of the XO chili sauce makes it mouth-savoring.

3) The sweetness of the XO chili sauce smoothens out the taste of its spiciness. It is sort of subduing it. However, when you have taken several mouthfuls of the flesh of the fish you begin to feel its spiciness. You would like to continue eating. By the time, you have finished eating, the spiciness lingers on in your mouth for half an hour or so. This is the effect of a really excellent chili sauce.         

4) You can add different ingredients in step 3. Remember: Do not heat up the XO chili sauce.  

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