Fish with Pork and Ginger

. August, 2015
Fish with Pork and Ginger

This Cambodian-inspired dish may sound a bit odd – fish in a sauce made with pork, vinegar, sugar, fermented beans and dried mushrooms – but it works perfectly. As with most Cambodian fare, any spice-derived heat comes from adding fresh chilli yourself, so the chilli-shy are in safe territory here.


800 grams blue eye cod fillets or other firm, white-fleshed fish, skin on
cornflour (cornstarch) for dusting
11⁄2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, halved and very thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
11⁄2 tablespoons vegetable oil
200 grams pork loin or fillet, cut into thin strips
55 grams very fine matchsticks of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons yellow bean sauce
11⁄2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar
60 ml chicken stock 
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, drained and thinly sliced
To serve
2 medium red chillies, trimmed and cut into very fine matchsticks, or to taste
1 spring onion (scallion), trimmed and thinly cut diagonally
coriander (cilantro) leaves
cooked fresh rice noodles


For the sauce, in a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in the oil, stirring often, for 5–6 minutes or until light golden. Add the pork and ginger and cook for another 2–3 minutes or until the pork is nearly cooked and the ginger is fragrant. Add the soy bean sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, stock and mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, set aside and keep warm.

Dust the fish with the cornflour, shaking off any excess.

In a wok or large frying pan over medium–high heat, cook the fish, skin side down, in the oil for about 8 minutes, turning once, or until just cooked through. Add the reserved sauce and bring back to a simmer, shaking the wok gently so it heats evenly and to avoid breaking up the fish. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick.

Transfer the fish to serving plates or a large platter and spoon over the sauce. Scatter over the chillies, spring onion and coriander and serve immediately with the rice noodles.

EAST celebrates the ingredients and flavours of South East Asia, taking you on a unique journey from the comfort of your own kitchen. Inspired by the authors' personal travels and the culinary highlights they discovered in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia and Burma, East is a colorful exploration of the food and culture of these diverse areas.

This is an edited extract from EAST by Leanne Kitchen & Antony Suvalko published by Hardie Grant Books NZ$54.99 and is available in stores nationwide.