World Cuisine (China) : Fish Balls in Honey and Lemon Sauce

Growing up in and around a city which has India's only Chinatown, Chinese food has always been a rather next door thing. The Chinatown area in Kolkata itself has some 40 odd Chinese restaurants. The history of Chinese settlement in the city is almost 200 years old, dating back to the times when it was the British capital, Calcutta. Over these years Chinese food has not only become a favourite option for eating out in Kolkata but we have also managed to customize it and bring it in our own kitchens.

TGIF and I just felt like making something special. I had some flounder fillets in my fridge. I had made fish manchurian several times with cod. But flounder fillets are too thin and soft for that. So, I decided to finely chop them and turn them into fish balls. To make it even more exciting, I made my own version of sweet and sour, honey and lemon sauce to go with it. And dinner just turned out to be great when the spice and tang of this dish were accompanied by hubby's signature garlic and pepper pan-fried noodles.


Fish Balls in Honey and Lemon Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

For the fish balls
Flounder fillets: 1/2 lb or about 250 gms (You can use any other soft flesh fish as well)
Onions (grated): 2 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Egg: 1
Corn flour / All purpose flour: 3 tbsp
Baking powder
Bread crumb: 1 cup
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

For the sauce
Red chilli flakes: 1 tbsp
Garlic (minced) : 2 tbsp
Onions (diced): 1(medium sized)
Red and green bell peppers (thinly sliced) : 1/4 + 1/4
Dark soy sauce: 2 1/2 tbsp
Red chillies (chopped) : 2
Spring onion greens (chopped): 1/2 cup
Corn flour: 1 tbsp
Honey: 3 tbsp
Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

PROCEDURE:

Dab the fish fillets with kitchen paper towel to get rid of excess moisture. Then chop them as finely as possible.


In a bowl mix together all the ingredients for the fish balls except the bread crumbs. (Check for the binding and add more flour if needed)


Make small balls of the mixture. (Apply a little oil on your palms before making the balls. By doing so it will be easier to make the balls as it won't stick to your hands.) Coat the balls in bread crumb.


Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Deep fry the balls for about a minute. Keep the fried balls aside.



Heat oil (2 tbsp) in another pan. Infuse the oil by adding dry red chilli flakes and minced garlic.


Add the diced onions, peppers and red chillies. Saute for a couple of minutes.


Add the dark soy sauce and give it a mix. Then add the honey and lemon juice and mix well.




Dissolve the corn flour in a little water and add it to the sauce. Add salt to taste. Then add the fish balls to the sauce, and mix gently so that the balls get a nice coat of the sauce.


Finally add the spring onions and give it a quick mix.


Serve hot with noodles or fried rice.























Photographs by Swakshar Ghosh

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