Last week, my husband, an avid pescetarian, bought a whole Lapu-lapu (grouper) that was 10 kgs. (Yeah, surreal!) As I was still banned from kitchen duty having been only a week post-surgery, the Lapu-lapu was cooked the way those who were cooking knew how.
Now my husband has a favorite Sichuan fish stew, called Shui Zhu Yu, 水煮鱼. for which I found a recipe at chinasichuanfood.com. As he was traveling to China, I asked our friend there for help with the ingredients, and my husband took them home to me. Ang dami!
This is only half of the stash that our good friend bought for me, as there wasn't enough space in my husband's luggage for it. The rest would have to come on his next trip to China. To think I was only asking for a pack each!
Anyway, so I got all excited and tried making Shui Zhu Yu 水煮鱼 last night, following the recipe I found to the letter.
How did it go?
Not bad for a first time, it was delicious, but lacking the oomph of the authentic dish. Usually the dish is really spicy, heavily laden with peppercorns and dried Sichuan peppers, so I was surprised that the recipe called for very little. It wasn't as spicy as the one I had in Guangzhou, and it wasn't as red and inviting. I was actually a tad disappointed, parang palpak. :) Di bale, I will put an entire pack of chilis and heaps of the doubanjiang next time.
Usually this stew is also very oily, because the last step involves about half of a cup of oil and pouring it over the stew. Here's how it should be according to my recipe source:
I decided to use less oil. Maybe that also made the difference?
Since I followed recipe to the letter I will no longer post it here. I will try making it again with tweaks and when I succeed making it as authentic-tasting and authentic-looking as it should be, I'd post my recipe.