Saturday 29 April 2017

Claypot Fish Head in Huiji Waist Tonic 汇集砂锅红烧鱼头

Claypot dishes are here to stay in Asian families. As Chinese, we are just so used to the benefits of claypot cooking. The moisture and flavours are often optimised, resulting in many fragrant and delicious claypot dishes.  This Claypot Fish Head in Huiji Waist Tonic 汇集砂锅红烧鱼头 is another favourite amongst my family members. 

The weather has been unpredictable recently and many people that I know (including myself) are falling sick. In hope of boosting the immunity and energy level of my loved ones, I had deliberately incorporated Huiji Waist Tonic in this claypot dish. This would allow me to have the best of both worlds - fragrance, flavours and health benefits. I was sold by the ingredients that were used to make this non-alcoholic herbal tonic. Being 100% vegetarian, the bottle of goodness include cordyceps (虫草), ginseng  (人参), du zhong (杜仲), dang gui (当归), he shou wu (何首乌) and jujube  (大枣). This put me at ease as they're the usual ingredients I use for brewing Chinese tonic soups. I knew they would benefit my family. Moreover, the taste and flavour of my Claypot Fish Head in Huiji Waist Tonic 汇集砂锅红烧鱼头 had been interestingly enhanced, which came as a pleasant surprise to me! Can you see how the Huiji infused sauce beautifully caramelised the fish head? I didn't have to add much sugar to the dish...just 1 teaspoon. The natural sweetness from the jujube in the Huiji tonic did it all!

Ingredients (enough for 4 pax with rice) :
  • 1 fish head of about 1 kg (I used a red grouper fish head. Song fish head is also recommended.) 
  • 8 pcs dried mushrooms (soaked)(keep the mushrooms water for cooking use)
  • 4 pcs tau pok (cut into triangular halves)
  • 2 pcs tau kwa/beancurd (cut into quarters)
  • 1 carrot (chopped to chunks)
  • 100 gm broccoli 
  • a handful of chopped spring onions (for garnishing)
  • a handful of coriander (for garnishing)
  • 40 ml Huiji waist tonic (to be blended into seasonings when cooking)
  • 40 ml Huiji waist tonic (to be added before serving; after cooking)
  • 1/3 cup shaoxing cooking wine 
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 ikan bills stock cube
  • a dash of pepper
  • 8 thin slices ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 1 coriander root
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • cooking oil

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon) 

Method :
  1. Carefully rinse and clean fish head. Rub with a little salt and leave to drain.
  2. Coat fish head with tapioca flour. Be careful to only coat it thinly such that it would not get starchy when braised.
  3. Heat wok/pan with oil. Fry fish head till golden brown and set aside.
  4. Fry tau kwa (beancurd) till golden brown and set aside.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in claypot at medium heat. 
  6. Saute ginger slices, garlic and coriander root till aromatic.
  7. Fold in tau pok, carrot chunks, mushrooms and give it a quick stir fry.
  8. Toss in fried tau kwa (beancurd).
  9. Use chopsticks to blend all seasonings and 40 ml Huiji Waist Tonic in a bowl. 
  10. Pour seasonings mixture into claypot.
  11. Fold in 3 cups water (use the mushroom water used to soak mushrooms earlier)(adjust water in accordance to your pot size).
  12. Add 1/2 pc ikan bills stock cube into claypot and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
  13. Taste test to your satisfaction. Adjust seasonings in accordance to your pot size.
  14. Place fried fish head on top of ingredients in claypot.
  15. Spoon sauce onto fish head. 
  16. Cover lid and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (subject to claypot size) in low heat.
  17. Meanwhile, stir fry broccoli separately and set aside.
  18. When time's up, remove lid and arrange cooked broccoli into claypot. 
  19. Garnish with chopped spring onions and coriander.
  20. Serve claypot at dining table. Pour another 40 ml Huiji Waist Tonic over fish head and ingredients.
  21. Serve whilst hot with rice. 

(scroll to bottom of page, click on "Print" or "PDF" icon for printer friendly recipe)

If you had observed the photos closely, you would realise how beautifully the fish head had been caramelised by the Huiji infused seasoning mixture. This Claypot Fish Head in Huiji Waist Tonic 汇集砂锅红烧鱼头 is surely a keeper for my family. 

If you are interested to know more about Huiji Waist Tonic, please click here. They are currently running a Mothers' Day bundle special promotion. A great gift to be considered for your beloved Mother & Wife.


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