As we walked down the ramp entering the basement bike garage one afternoon, Megan and I noticed a large basin of live fish. (The couple who guard the bikes live in a small room located at the entrance to the garage. There is a bed and a small cooking area and we often see them preparing food as we walk by). Megan was enthralled with the live fish. I asked the bike man if they were going to eat the fish. The bike man said yes, then proceeded to ask Megan if she wanted liked to eat fish. She didn’t quite understand, but shook her head, yes and smiled. Before I knew it, I was carrying a bag of two live fish up to my apartment. I couldn’t say no! I didn’t want to reject a gift, thinking that I might insult the bike man.
When we got home, I put some water in the sink and put the fish in. Megan had fun playing with them, watching them swim around. My helper showed me how to pan fry the fish with a Chinese stir-fry sauce.
Recipe: (I recommend trying this recipe with tilapia fillets)
Heat 1 – 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in skillet. Dust fish fillets in flour. Brown on both sides. Add chunks of garlic, fresh ginger and sliced onion. Reduce heat and simmer a few minutes.
Sauce: Combine 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cooking sherry (jiu), a small amount of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl.
Pour sauce over the simmering fish. Cover and let cook 5 minutes. Serve with steamed rice
They actually tasted really good, except for picking through the tiny bones. I’m definitely spoiled by my Texas daddy when it comes to eating fish. He always had them nicely filleted before cooking, to avoid picking through bones and he can fry fish better than anyone I know.
I was sure to bring muffins to the bike man the next day, as a thank you for the fish gift.