Buttered Fish Fillet & Beef Rendang

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Sounds like there’s a party huh? Actually, we took my sister for lunch to our favorite Singaporean restaurant along Donzhimenwai Street just after our trip to the Ritan Park & Cean’s sports day activities. They serve peranakan or baba nyonya that reminds us of our years in Southeast Asia which explains our usual craving for Chinese-malay food. We ordered our favorite kway teow, satay ayam & beef rendang. Kway teow are fried flat noodles, especially popular in Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei. Satay ayam or skewered chicken in peanut sauce is basically Malay food. Beef rendang, on the other hand, is a dish that I usually identify w/ our beef caldereta. Of course it has a different flavor, which they say, has shallot, ginger, lemon grass paste, ground coriander, cumin, and nutmeg.

The serving was really huge that we almost couldn’t finish everything. The beef rendang was delicious but spicy that we decided to tapaw (take-out) half of it. We are not really a bunch of chilli lovers so for dinner, I did some make-over. I add onions, tomatoes, garlic and string beans plus a cup of water to the beef rendang to lessen the chili flavor. I also prepared deep-fried codfish fillet as I was inspired by my conversation w/ my cousin in Australia whom I chatted with thru YM. For some reason, we always end up talking about food every time we see each other online. He mentioned that a favorite down under is to oven-grill fish (I forgot, was it salmon?) marinated w/ lemon juice, salt & pepper.

Ingredients for the Buttered Fish Fillet:
1/2 kilo codfish fillet
1 tbsp crushed garlic
3 tbsp butter
salt & pepper

Ingredients for the String Beans w/ Beef Rendang Sauce:
our leftover beef Rendang (beef sliced into thin strips)
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 onion
1 large tomato
string beans
1 tbsp soy sauce

Marinate the fish fillet w/ garlic, salt & pepper for 10 minutes. Heat the butter in the frying pan and mix w/ the soy bean oil. Make sure that the oil is hot before dropping the fish. Frying should be quick, about 2 to 3 minutes, so that the outer part is crispy & the inside is just right – tender & juicy.

In another casserole, stir-fry the garlic until golden brown. Drop the tomatoes & onions and cook until the tomatoes are crushed. Add the beef rendang & saute for about 2 minutes. Add a cup of water and the soy sauce, & bring to boil. Add the string beans. Continue boiling until the beans are cooked & the sauce is thick. Serve hot w/ the fish fillet.

Fish sticks and beef stew that millions of children love to hate. – Marian Burros

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

3 thoughts on “Buttered Fish Fillet & Beef Rendang

  1. ey! just what i wanted to ask you and mike! do you have the recipe for buttered prawns? hmm! i miss those days… our decoration days in brunei!!!

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