Spicy fish floss is a yummy Asian recipe that can be a dish in itself or as an add-on to other dishes. It can also be stored in a jar for future use. For this, mackerel or herring is suggested, but feel free to use any type of fish, tilapia is good too. If you do not want it to be spicy you can do without the chili.
I like the saltiness of the fish floss because it goes well with anything. I prefer it crunchy so I make sure that I fry it to a crisp, while others like it soft and a bit chewy so they cook it for less than five minutes.
1 kg mackerel or wolf herring
1 1/2 cups of water
3 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut cream
6 kaffir lime leaves, crushed
For the spice paste:
2 1/2 cups shallots
4 stalks lemon grass, sliced
1/2 inch piece galangal, thinly sliced
6 fresh red chili, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup water or fish stock
Place the fish on a large saucepan. Pour in some water; making sure that the fish is submerged. Put the saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once the fish turns opaque, drain it and set aside half a cup of fish broth. Let the fish cool completely, around 30 minutes. After, flake the fish using your hands or a fork. Discard the skin and the bones.
Combine the shallots, candlenuts, lemon grass, galangal, chili and fish stock in a food processor or blender. Process it for 1 minute or until fine. You may also use a mortar and pestle if desired. Place the spice paste mix in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the fish, sugar, salt, coconut cream and fish broth. Let it simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the mixture dries. Stir constantly.
Once the liquid has evaporated, allow the fish to fry in the coconut oil and spice paste mixture. Add the lime leaves and cook it or another 6-8 minutes or until the fish becomes crisp. Let it cool completely before serving it over rice or with porridge.
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