Adeni Classic Fish Sauce (Sanunat Samak) — صانونة صيد او سمك
July 25, 2010 by lamyaalmas
This is an Adeni classic. Since Aden is a coastal region people eat fish more often than lamb, beef or chicken. And this is a 2-3 time a week meal for many families who, most often, can only afford fish. Although nowadays, even fish is becoming very expensive.
I love this dish, it is one of my favorites. It brings back warm memories of my dear mother who taught me how to make it, and me working hard to make it taste EXACTLY like hers. This was the very first dish I learned from my mother, and was the only one I could cook for a long time until she taught me some other dishes.
Well, here is the recipe:
1) 1 7oz salmon fillet cut into 2 bite cubes (of course you can use any fish that holds well in a sauce and does not break easily. You can use a whole rainbow trout, fresh tuna steaks, and salmon)
2) 1 small onion finely chopped
3) 2 medium sized patatoes quartered
4) 2 tbslp olive oil
5) 2 cloves garlic minced
6)1 medium tomato diced
7) 1 1/2 tbslp tomato paste
8 ) 1 tblsp of red chilly sauce or more if you so desire (usually adenis have this on hand–they soak red chillies overnight and then liquidize them in a liquidizer and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator)
9) quarter of a medium sized eggplant cubed [and/or a fistful of okra]
10) 2 tblsps of finely chopped cilantro
11) Salt to taste
12) 1/2 tsp of concentrated tamarind paste
13) 1/4 tsp of ground cumin
14) 1/4 tsp of ground coriander
Alright, here goes. On medium heat sautee the onions in the oil with the garlic and patatoes unitl the onions is golden brown. Add, the fish and sautee for about 3 minutes, until the fish changes color but is not entirely cooked through.
Add the chillie paste/sauce, cumin and coriander and let cook for another 2-3 min. DO NOT ADD WATER. You want the flavors to marry without being diluted with water. Then add the eggplant and/or okra, tamarind paste, and diced tomatoes and let cook again for about 2 minutes.
Add a cup of water and let simmer under medium to low heat unitl the patatoes are cooked through. Add salt to taste and add the tomato paste and let the sauce thicken, and cook until the oil rises to the surface. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice.