Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mackerel braised in tomato liquid

Look what he brought me when he`s back from fishing!!

Don`t believe it? Of course you don`t. I won`t believe it either. Next time we go fishing for real, I`d surely include some photos during the fish catching to convince you, and MY SELF.
Let me come clean then, we got these mackerels from the store,  with a very amazing price, 1 USD for one fish. Nice, right?!

My family used to have canned mackerel when my mom didn`t feel like cooking from scratch. The mackerel comes with tomato gravy and it`s quite tasty I must say. She would stir-fry chili, shallot, and fresh tomatoes and add the canned mackerel in it. Now I still occasionally have this canned mackerel for the same reason. Convenience.

But last night was different. I wanted to cook this mackerel in tomato gravy without any can involved. I was surrounded with fresh mackerel and fresh tomatoes, and I have a pressure cooker (my superhero!), so I didn`t any see reason not to cook it from scratch! Apparently, "convenience" has been replaced with "fun".

Start by removing fish head, fins, and guts. Wash it and cut up into your preferred size.

I think it will be easier for the heat and pressure to process the bones to be completely tenderized and edible if I cut it into small chunks. Plus, I love bite-sized food. By the way, I`m horrible at cutting and that should explain why these cuts look scary.

Place onion, ginger, and lots of tomatoes in food processor and puree them. Set aside.

Fry garlic and chilli with olive oil until fragrant in a pressure cooker.

Pour in your tomato puree and stir a bit. Season with soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, and pepper.

Now, this is one of my favorite buddies. Korean chili powder called "gochugaru". Mine is in Japanese version and the good thing of this powder is, it has a mild spiciness despite the redness. That really helps when I need to cook something that supposed to be red-colored by fresh chilies without having to burn my husband`s tongue. But again, as the level of spiciness tolerance varies among us, just make sure to add this little by little.

After gochugaru, dump in the fish chunks into the puree. Remember, do not add water unless you want it to be fish soup instead of gravy. If you put enough tomatoes, you`ll notice the large amount of water released from the tomatoes. I also threw in some dried kombu (seaweed) and kaffir lime leaves for extra fragrance.

Put the cooker`s lid on and let it cooks for 15 mins. Please read your cooker`s manual to make sure that you do it correctly (and safely).

After 15 minutes cooking and 20 minutes cooling (or until pressure is completely released and you can safely open the lid), open it and see how beautiful it is inside!

Now test if the bones are tender enough to be eaten. If it`s still hard, try to cook it for another 10 minutes or cut the fish into smaller chunks first before recooking it. Mine was done with 15-min cooking and all the bones came out tender that makes this dish literally an all-you-can-eat food.

And this is how I enjoyed my mackerel this morning alone while he was still sleeping.

I ate too much. Again.

Soy sauce
Fish sauce
Dried kombu seaweed

1 comment:

  1. y know I am Indian, and my mum used to do the same thing - keep those canned tomatobased mackerel for days she didnt feel like making elaborate food - and I suddenly wanted to eat that - but no tins, but I have the mackerel, and thanks to google - ur post matched all my keywords :)