Recently I got an email from Lidija in Sydney. She wrote that growing up as a kid and teenager she would have a particular fish and tomato dish served at church confirmation celebrations. Lidija’s mother had passed away 30 years ago and she cannot find a recipe for this dish.
I searched through my cookbooks (some of them are reprints from early 20th century), but I could not locate a recipe that would explain how this dish would have been made nearly 100 years ago. However, fish in tomato and carrot sauce, served cold, still is a fairly popular party dish (served as salad), so here goes my version of it.
Lidija, I hope it hits the mark!
- 1kg white-fleshed fish
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 large onion
- 3 medium carrots
- 250g tomato paste
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Oil for frying, salt and pepper
- Cut the fish in 5cm cubes, season with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs. Roll the fish pieces in flour, then dip in the egg and place on a preheated pan. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
- Thinly slice onion and coarsely grate carrots. Place the onions in a saucepan and fry until translucent. Add grated carrots and continue to fry for couple more minutes until carrots have softened.
- Add tomato paste to the saucepan and mix well. Mix together vinegar and water, add to the saucepan. Season well and simmer for 5 - 7 minutes until the sauce slightly thickens.
- Cover the bottom of serving dish with a 1/3 of the sauce. Place the cooked fish on top, cover with the remaining sauce.
- Place overnight in the fridge to marinate. Serve cold.
I have made this recipe with barramundi and cod and I find that cod works better as it is flakier and absorbs the sauce more. You can replace the tomato paste with a tin of condensed tomato soup; if soup is used, reduce the amount of water to 1/2 cup. You can add herbs (parsley, dill, basil) or finely sliced capsicum to the sauce for extra flavour.