The Indo-Asian chilli fish is a restaurant classic especially where I hail from that is the city of joy ‘Kolkata’! I used to love it when I was little and the feeling hasn’t changed a bit in these years! Make this chilli fish at home and fall in love instantly!
Chinese food is very popular in my city of joy Kolkata and I was totally hooked to it during my younger days! Among all my favorite dishes, this chilli fish was one of the frequent toppers! I simply loved the succulent cubes of fish immersed in sweet & spicy saucy gravy sprinkled with green gem-like spring onion! It was absolute luxury for me when I was too little to cook my own food! It’s been long since I have left my hometown for work and I still miss the Kolkata-style Chinese dishes which are rare finds in any other cities across India. I may have already spoken enough about this in my recipe post of Kolkata-Style Chilli Chicken which is another classic of Indo-Chinese cuisine and definite must-try if you haven’t already! Coming back to today’s recipe of chilli fish, this one is an absolute winner! Even if you like fish or not, this will still knock you off your feet!
The crispy bite-sized fish cubes stir-fired in a spicy sauce blend along with crispy veggies – you are gonna love it as much as I do! I have always been a fish-lover since my childhood, but our home-cooked fish recipes were of predominantly Bengali style. Thanks to my love for Indo-Chinese food, I had to master myself in making these favorite dishes at home to satisfy my cravings as well as to share it with you all so that you can experience the pleasure of good food too at your own cozy home! For this chilli fish recipe, I have used skinless Basa fish fillet which is not only my favorite choice of fish for this recipe, but also it’s the most easily available fish fillet in supermarkets. You can use any boneless & skinless fish fillet which is available in your local market; this recipe is a keeper in true sense as it works with any fish!
As the name suggests, chilli fish is a spicy dish and the heat quotient is incorporated with the help of two ingredients – red chilli sauce and fresh green chilli. While making it at home, you can of course play with your sauce and balance it out as per your liking – that’s the beauty of homemade food where you don’t have to surrender to the restaurants’ ‘one-gravy-fits-all’ policy! If you are making for kids, you can surely omit the green chilies and may cut down the amount of red chilli sauce. You can make a sweet & sour version of this chilli fish which the kids will fall for instantly. I have a sweet & sour chicken recipe in my other blog which you can check out for reference. This chilli fish is best complimented with stir-fried noodles or veg fried rice which will perfectly balance the spiciness of the gravy. Good news is, you will get both the recipes in my blog!
I have kept my chilli fish on the drier side; you may make a chilli fish gravy recipe by adding a cup of water and once the water starts to boil, add cornflour slurry which is nothing but a tablespoon of cornflour evenly mixed with couple of tablespoons of water. The cornflour slurry will thicken the gravy as well as add the restaurant-like gloss to your homemade chilli fish. For the veggies, you will typically see green capsicum/bell peppers in the take-away dish which is absolutely fine to use; since I had some yellow and red capsicums handy, I decided to play up my homemade chilli fish and give it a more fine-diner look! What do you think? Doesn’t the video look stunning with all the colorful veggies and the golden brown fried fish cubes sprinkled with sparkling green spring onions? This chilli fish is an absolute pleasure which you must try for yourself and your family & friends! Enjoy!
- Basa fish fillet – 500 gms (you can use any boneless & skinless fish fillet)
- Garlic – 4 cloves, miced
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Red chili powder – ½ tsp
- White vinegar – 1 tsp
- All-purpose flour/maida – 2 tbsp
- Cornflour/cornstarch – 4 tbsp
- Egg – 1, separated, we’ll use only the egg white
- Soy sauce – 2 tsp
- Tomato ketchup – 2 tsp
- Red chilli sauce – 4 tbsp
- White vinegar – 1 tsp
- Garlic – 6 cloves, minced
- Green chilli – 4, sliced
- Onion – 2, medium, cut into large chunks and then each layer separated to get the onion petals
- Red/yellow/green bell pepper/capsicum – 1, large, cut into 1-inch long chunks (you may use mix of 2 types)
- Spring onion – 6 stalks, finely chopped
- Wash, pat dry and cut the fish fillet into bite-sized pieces. Take them in a bowl and add salt, red chilli powder, white vinegar and minced garlic. Give a good mix to evenly coat each fish cube. Set it aside for 30 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, tomato ketchup, red chilli sauce and white vinegar to make the stir-fry sauce for our chilli fish. Set it aside.
- After the fish cubes have been marinated for 30 minutes, add all-purposeflour/maida, corn flour/cornstarch and egg white to the marinated fish. Mix everything thoroughly so that each fish cube is uniformly coated with the batter.
- Heat enough oil in a wok/kadai for deep frying. Fry the fish cubes on medium high heat until they turn golden on both side. Fish cooks really fast, so do keep an eye constantly. This should not take more than 2 minutes per side. Take them out and set aside.
- Once all the fish cubes are fried, retain just 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok and take out the excess. Add minced garlic, sliced green chillies and onion petals. Stir-fry on high for 2 minutes or until the onion turns slightly translucent.
- Then add the capsicum cubes and continue stir-frying on high for 5 minutes. If you like the bell peppers crunchy then don’t fry them more than 5 minutes; if you like them softer, continue to sauté them for 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Next add the fried fish cubes and give a quick stir. Now drizzle the prepared stir-fry sauce and continue stirring on medium high heat until each fish cube and the veggies are evenly coated with the sauce on all sides.
- Finally sprinkle the chopped green onion. You may not need to add extra salt as all the sauces used here are quite salty; but feel free to taste and adjust the salt at this stage if needed.
- Your restaurant style Indo-Asian chilli fish is ready to devour! Serve it with veg fried rice and lemon wedges! Enjoy!