For Marinated Fried Hake Fish
1000g hake fish (headless)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper powder
1/2 tsp. red bell pepper powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. seasoning of choice (I used vegetable seasoning)
500ml oil for frying
For Sweet Bell Pepper Sauce
6 red bell peppers, deseeded and coarsely blended
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 thumb-size ginger, ground or finely grated
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. white pepper, powder
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. tomato paste
50ml oil for stir-frying
For Yam Fries
1 pack Sympli Yam Fries, thawed
2 tbsps. oil to coat yams
Thaw Sympli yam fries and spread on parchment paper. Drizzle oil and mix well. Then bake at 180° for about 30 minutes or until yams are light brown and crispy.
Degut and clean hake fish well with lemon water (squeeze 2 lemons in about 2 liters of water and use it to wash your degutted fish). This will remove that fishy smell and give a light citrusy aroma which works perfectly well in this recipe. Allow water to drain.
Marinate hake fish with all the ingredients listed under ‘for hake fish’ except the oil. Set fish aside to marinate for about 15 -30 minutes while you prep the other ingredients for the sauce. Heat 500ml of oil in a pot and fry fish until both sides are golden brown. Set aside.
In a food processor, blend deseeded red bell peppers into a coarse consistency. You do not need to add water for blending as bell peppers are high in water content. But if your blender requires some water, add a little at a time.
Now, pass blended bell peppers through a sieve or strainer to remove all the excess water. Use a kitchen cloth to further remove any excess water. This will yield a thick paste which is great as this will take less time to cook. Do not throw the red bell pepper juice. It is sweet and contains lots of minerals and vitamins which a great for your body.
Reduce the oil you used to fry the hake fish until only about 50ml of oil is left in the pot. Add chopped onions and fry until translucent. Then add garlic, ginger, thyme, white pepper, curry powder and fry for another minute just so that the oil is flavored with the spices.
Now add tomato paste and fry into a reduced sauce for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then add drained bell peppers and simmer under medium heat for another 15 to 20 minutes. Do not forget to taste for salt and seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serve with baked yam fries and enjoy.
If you like it hot, add 2 to 3 blended scotch bonnet peppers for added heat.
You can use other fish like sea brim or croaker for this recipe but I find that hake works best.