I remember posting up a similar dish, but using eggplants instead of capsicum. I'm usually not a capsicum fan, but we had quite a bit left over in the fridge after our recent thai curry escapade. The boys seemed to enjoy it a lot more than the eggplant version though. They managed to finish all the steam rice I had cooked for the night (I usually have enough leftover to be able to make fried rice the next day !!) with just this dish alone.
To key is to be able to get your hands on some fresh fish paste. I've tried using frozen ones from the Asian groceries and it never really taste the same. Most Asian fishmongers will have fish paste. Or you can use a food processor and make your own with some inexpensive white fish. If you are making your own, after processing it through the food processor, you need to grab the paste in one hand and throw it down into a large bowl so it makes a 'spat' sound for a couple of minutes. This process, which my daddy taught me (and he is a chef), makes it turn in a fish paste that he calls 'sticky' and it holds together better. And also according to him.. I quote: 'Has a nicer texture when eating it'.
I have only made my own fish paste once (before I discovered it was readily available at my local Asian fishmonger at $5 a packet), after that I've never really bothered to make my own. It was just a bit too much work. >.<
Stuffed Capsicum with Black Bean Sauce
Original recipe passed to me from my grandma
- 2x Capsicums (seeds removed, sliced into 1/4 lengthwise, then halved again crosswise into chunks)
- Small bowl of Cornflour (to be used during the 'stuffing' process)
- ~300g White Fish paste (from chinese grocery shops)
- 2 tablespoon of dried shrimp (soaked in water, finely chopped - water reserved)
- 3 tablespoons of coriander (roughly chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt & a pinch of ground white pepper
- Dash of vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves (smashed and finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon of fermented black beans (fresh or use black bean paste from chinese grocery shops)
- 1 fresh red chilli (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoon of light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons of white sugar
- To prepare the capsicum, remove the seeds and slice into quarters lengthwise, then crosswise into half. You should have 8 pieces from each capsicum.
- Mix together the fish paste with dried shrimps and coriander. Season with salt and white pepper.
- Rub some cornflour on the insides of the eggplant piece and place about 1 tablespoon of the mixed fish paste into the eggplant. (The cornflour helps hold the fish paste in place).
- Shallow fry the stuffed capsicum pieces in some hot oil.
- Remove the pieces as the capsicum pieces start to blacken a bit and set aside.
- In a medium hot wok, add the oil then stir in the garlic. Add in the stuffed capsicum pieces and pour in the mixture of black bean, chilli, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Keep on stirring the contents around so it wont burn too easily.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved shrimp water in and continue stir frying the stuff capsicum pieces around. Each piece should have a coating of the black bean sauce.
Serve with some steamed white rice. Enjoy :)