Salt Fish in Tomato Sauce
200 grams salt fish
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
425 grams can finely crushed tomatoes
2 or more red chillies chopped
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
cracked black pepper to taste
Rinse salt fish whole in cold running water to wash the salt away. Soak in hot, but not boiling water, for 20 minutes or until the salt fish skin is soft enough to be scraped off. Scrape the skin off the salt fish with a sharp knife. Rinse in cold running water. Boil salt fish whole over medium heat in a saucepan for 5 minutes or until the salt fish is ready to be flaked into small pieces as shown in photo. Drain, allow to cool down. De-bone and flake salt fish as shown in photo. Take care to remove all bones with the help of a small knife and fork.
Alternatively, you can also cut the salt fish into small serve size pieces (cutlets) and cook in the sauce.
In a frying pan, over high heat put 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Fry the flaked salt fish (or cutlets) until golden brown. Stir at intervals to prevent burning. Do not overcook.
In another saucepan, put 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Fry the crushed garlic, crushed ginger, finely chopped onions and thyme until the onions are cooked and become transparent. Add the finely crushed tomatoes, cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are cooked and the sauce is well blended. Stir at intervals. If necessary, add a little hot water at a time to maintain sauce consistency and to prevent burning. Optional: Add the chopped red chillies.
Add the fried salt fish pieces (or cutlets) to the tomato sauce and stir in. Lower heat to medium low. Cover and allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes. You may adjust the sauce consistency to your own preference by either simmering without cover to thicken the sauce or adding a little hot water to create more sauce. Add a pinch of cracked black pepper and the finely chopped parsley. Stir in and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Taste sauce and season to your preference with salt and pepper. Additional salt is rarely required.
Serve hot and makes an excellent appetiser with rice and bouillon brêdes or black lentils.
Madeleine's recipe : Rougaille Poisson Salé
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