Crisp herrings with a spicy Sri Lankan salad

Crisp herrings with a spicy Sri Lankan salad

By
From
My Feast
Serves
4
Photographer
Chris Chen

Thalpe, in southern Sri Lanka, is famous for its stilt fishermen, who catch fish using a handline while sitting on wooden poles that jut out from the water. I used to beg my dad to pay the stilt fishermen for me to have a go but he never gave in to me. Fast forward thirty years and my chance finally arrived. It wasn’t exactly how I pictured it. Getting onto the stilt was hilarious — I’m probably 30 kilograms heavier than any of the fishermen who use the poles daily. As I scaled the pole it bent backwards, then as I lifted my sarong-clad leg over the crossbar my sarong got caught on it, but I finally settled onto the stilt and even managed to catch a fish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10 herrings, scaled and cleaned
1 tablespoon roasted curry powder
salt, to taste
150g plain flour
1 lime, juiced
2 litres vegetable oil
1 head garlic, cloves unpeeled and bruised
10 dried red chillies
Spicy Sri Lankan salad, to serve

Method

  1. Place the herrings, curry powder, salt, pepper and flour in a bowl and toss to coat the fish well. Add the lime juice and toss again.
  2. Heat the oil in a large deep-sided saucepan to 180°C or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds. Once the oil is hot, add the 3–4 herrings, one by one, and deep-fry until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Fry the herrings in batches so the oil doesn’t lose its heat and allow the oil to come back up to temperature before frying another batch. Set aside.
  3. Deep-fry the garlic cloves and whole chillies in the same oil until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  4. To serve, place a few herrings on each plate, topped with the fried garlic and chilli along with some Sri Lankan salad.
Tags:
My
Feast
Peter
Kuruvita
Asia
Asian
island
SBS
My Sri Lanka
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