Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pan-fried Asian Fish with Noodles

I am going back through my files and realizing that there are many dishes that I have neglected to post.  Truth is, I cook almost every day and the photos get edited and filed and sometimes the post even gets written but then I’ve moved onto other things that somehow seem more urgent to share.  This post was written back in 2011 when I had just visited the newly renovated Isetan food market in Kuala Lumpur, and, boy, howdy, was it a beautiful shop!   Isetan is a Japanese chain and if there is one thing food-wise we can all learn from the Japanese, it is fresh fish.  Isetan always has a great selection and you know it is the freshest available because their Japanese customers would not stand for anything less.   I miss Isetan and thought it was about time I shared this recipe.  Just reading this and looking at the photos, I am hungry for this dish again!  And homesick.


There is something about shopping in the Isetan food market, especially the newly renovated one in KLCC, that makes me want to put a Japanese or Asian twist on things.  Could it be the lovely samples of foreign foodstuffs with names I can’t pronounce that they are always giving out or the aroma of soy and frying and sesame seed oil from the cooking of said samples?  Regardless, I buy some fresh fish filets there and I can’t help but want to marinate them with soy and sesame oil.

This quick meal requires a little forward planning but, once you have marinated the fish filets, it requires very little time to cook – 15-20 minutes tops.

2 filets of threadfish or any white flakey fish
2 packages of ramen noodles – any type or flavor because you won’t use the seasoning packets
1 medium tomato
6-7 cloves of garlic
5 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese wine (Shaoxing)
1 tablespoon sesame oil plus extra for drizzling before serving
Olive oil

Marinate the fish in a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and one tablespoon of Chinese wine and one tablespoon of sesame oil - at least two or three hours, but they can be left overnight and cooked the next evening.  I find a Ziploc bag works best because you can squeeze the air out of it make sure the marinade is touching all parts of the fish.

Heat your non-stick pan quite hot and add a drizzle of olive oil.  Fry skin side up for 4-5 minutes.

Put some water on to boil for your noodles and dice the tomatoes and slice the garlic into thin pieces.

Turn over and fry another 4-5 minutes on the other side.  If the filets are thick enough, you can fry them another minute on each lateral side.

Add the tomato and garlic to the fish pan and then add the leftover marinade and the balance of the soy sauce (about three tablespoons.)  Give it a good stir then put the lid on the pot and turn the fire down a little.

Pop your ramen noodles into the boiling water and cook according to package instructions, but discard the seasoning packets or save them for another dish.

Check on your fish.  The tomatoes should have softened into a mush.  Remove the fish from the pan to allow room for mixing in the noodles.  If you are ready to eat, the fish can be put on the plates.  If not, just put them aside to return to the pan to keep warm.

Drain the ramen noodles and add them to the tomato/garlic pan.

Toss until the noodles are well-coated.

If you are not ready to serve, return the fish to the pan to keep warm.  If you are ready to serve, add half of the ramen to each plate with a filet of fish.  Drizzle lightly with olive or sesame oil.



  1. Looks wonderful AND easy! Thank you for always sharing such great memories with your recipes.

  2. Thanks, Belinda. You are always so sweet. Love you!

  3. I love that you used ramen noodles! :)

  4. I think ramen noodles get a bad rap, Alice. Sometimes they are just the right noodle for the job. :)

  5. Looks soo good, I just love dishes like this one, panfried something with noodles! And I love ramen noodles! I remember many a shopping trip at KLCC!

  6. It was very tasty, Lin. I love KLCC, especially Madam Kwan's and the local food court.


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