The crispy battered fried dory fillet one of the easiest and most popular recipes on how to use the spicy and refreshing sambal matah.
I made this Crispy Dory Fillets with Sambal Matah using the Sambal Matah recipe I previously posted. The dish is actually very easy and one of the most popular ways to serve with the condiment.
Originally from Bali, sambal matah can be translated as “raw sambal” or “raw chili sauce.” It is made from chilies, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, and shrimp paste. After the ingredients are chopped, the hot oil is added to fuse the whole flavor and aroma of the ingredients. Just like another sambal, sambal matah is spicy with umami flavor notes. The difference is sambal matah tastes lighter and refreshing.
When it comes to cooking, the best method to preserve the soft texture and light flavor of john dory is by keeping everything simple. For that reason, I decided to deep-fried the john dory fillets in crispy batter to keep it as light as possible. The crispy fried john dory is then topped with spicy and tangy sambal matah. Nevertheless, it has me wanting to spoon the dish over and over again.
Tips on Making Crispy Dory Fillets with Sambal Matah
1. Use cold milk
Using cold milk when mixing the batter will inhibit the development of gluten. It prevents the batter from absorbing too much oil, creating a light and crispy crust.
2. Do not over mix the batter
This recipe uses all-purpose flour, which has gluten in it. If you stir the batter, gluten will develop. Over mixing the batter will result in soggy and gummy batter because the batter absorbs a lot of oil when you fry it. That is also one reason why it is better to make the batter right before frying.
3. Cut dory in bite sizes
Fried food is hard to resist, but frying can be tricky. No other cooking method delivers such crisp, delicious browning while keeping food moist and tender on the inside. However, there are a number of risks involved when frying, especially when we lower something with a larger surface into the pot, which can probably result in spillage and ignition of the oil. This case can be easily solved by cutting the dory fillets into bite sizes to reduce the likelihood of injury.