MasterChef finalist, Alvin Quah, will be on deck to cook up some of his favourite seafood recipes at a Fishing Fair to be held on Sunday, 17 May at Googong's Beltana Park.
I caught up with Alvin recently and 'tackled' him with a few questions about his love of fish. Our conversation follows below:
Alvin, thank you for taking the time to catch up with me.
My pleasure, Bizzy Lizzy.
I see you're coming to Canberra for the Fishing Fair. Yay! Tell me, do you like to fish?
Yes, I do like to fish but I love to cook and eat fish more [he laughed]! The range of creative recipes you can experiment with is endless. From sashimi kingfish to deep fried snapper with pawpaw salad and steamed barramundi with ginger and shallots. There is nothing like cooking fresh line caught fish.
What's your earliest memory of fish?
My earliest memory of fish would be me devouring my mum's signature chili mackerel. It's still one of my requests when I visit her in Malaysia. I'm salivating right now just thinking about it!
What is your favourite fish?
That's a tough one, but I would have to say my favourite is barramundi. It's such a diverse fish with delicious firm, white, fine-grained meat that is adaptable to so many cuisines. It’s so easy to whip up a great barramundi dish that even the fussiest of eaters would love.
Do you have any especially favourite fish dishes?
There are three dishes that come to mind… grilled red snapper with tamarind sauce is a perfect match with sweetened shallots. Seared tuna – which I will be cooking on the day – it's super easy to make, tasty and healthy. And of course, steamed barramundi with a side of coconut rice and homemade chilli paste.
What dishes will you present on the day at the Fishing Fair?
I'll be cooking up a tasty array of seafood dishes from fish in a parcel to grilled tuna and the always popular Thai fish cakes. Each recipe has a hint of my Malaysian and Chinese influences which is a great way to spice up any seafood dish. All of my meals will be cooked using a barbecue, showing that you don’t need to cook for hours indoors to achieve a delicious meal.
Finally, is there a recipe you'd like to share with my readers?
Yes indeed. My fish in a parcel for one. Enjoy.
Alvin's barramundi recipe...
ALVIN'S FISH IN A PARCEL FOR ONE
2 tablespoons Shao XIng wine (Chinese rice wine)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2-3 spring onions, cut into 5-6cm batons
200g barramundi fillet
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2cm knob young ginger, peeled and julienned
1/2 tomato, sliced
1 tablespoon roughly chopped coriander
Combine the wine, soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl. Place a flat sheet of 15 x 15cm foil, shiny side down, on the bench. Lay the spring onion down next to each other. Place the fillet on top, topped with chilli flakes, ginger and tomato slices. Carefully fold and seal all but one side of the parcel. Pour the sauce into the parcel and make sure it is well sealed. Place on a hot barbecue, lid on, for 25-30 minutes. Open the parcel, carefully so the steam doesn’t burn you. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately.
Other activities at the Fishing Fair...
Local fishing expert, Rob Paxevanos, will launch his latest DVD, featuring a special chapter about the Googong Dam. Discover tips and tricks on fly fishing and lure casting with ACT Fly Casting Champion Danny Spelic and check out the latest and greatest fishing products from a range of local retailers.
You can also talk to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority about water safety and swap your old life jacket at the Old4New van. There'll be giveaways on the day and plenty of action for the kids including live bands, a jumping castle, reptile encounter and sausage sizzle. The event is free and will take place from 11am-2pm. Visit Googong.net for more information.
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.