Recipe: Chinese Style fish fillets

By Annabel Karmel, February 18, 2009
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This is my son’s favourite fish dish and that’s saying something as he is not generally a big fan of fish — but it is so tasty that it might just be the recipe to win over diehard carnivores.

The definition of a genius is, I am told, an average child with Jewish parents. We all know that fish is good for the brain and so naturally we want to make sure that our child enjoys eating it (provided, of course, it’s not the type with a shell and pincers). Sadly, however, most attempts at serving fish are met with “That’s yucky” and a mild tantrum.

There is nothing worse than dry, overcooked fish. Raw fish is slightly translucent and as soon as it becomes opaque, it is cooked. Always check carefully for bones — these could put your child off eating fish for life. Making individual fish pies in mini-ramekins is a good idea. It looks much more appealing than a dollop of fish pie on a plate. For maximum brain power and perhaps an Oxbridge place, make sure you give your child oily fish like salmon, as this contains omega 3s .

Another benefit of fish is that it is quick and easy to cook and you will be surprised how easy it is to include fish on the menu and please the whole family.

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

Ingredients
● Oriental Sauce
● 250 ml chicken stock
● 2 tsp soy sauce
● 1 tsp sesame oil
● 1 tbsp caster sugar
● 1 tsp cider vinegar
● 1 tbsp cornflour
● 1 large spring onion finely sliced

● 350g sole or plaice fillets, skinned and cut into strips
● Flour for coating
● Salt and pepper
● 1 egg lightly beaten
● Fine dried breadcrumbs or matzah meal
● 125g courgettes, cut into matchsticks
● Half a small red pepper cut into matchsticks
● Sunflower oil for frying

Method
● Season the flour for the fish with some salt and pepper and spread it out onto a plate.
● Whisk the egg in a bowl and spread the breadcrumbs or matzah meal onto a plate.
● Dip the strips of fish first into the seasoned flour, then into the beaten egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs.
● To make the sauce, mix together the stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, vinegar and cornflour.
● Pour the sauce into a saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened and smooth. Stir in the spring onion.
● Heat one and a half tablespoons of the oil in a pan, sauté the courgette and pepper for 4 minutes or until tender.
● Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and sauté the fish for two to three minutes each side or until cooked (be careful not to overcook the fish).
● Add the vegetables, pour over the sauce and heat through. Divide the fish between two plates, and top with some of the vegetables.

Annabel Karmel is appearing at The Baby Show at ExCeL between February 27 and March 1. Visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk. Her website is at www.annabelkarmel.com

    Last updated: 5:15pm, February 18 2009