Cooking carp is little bit tricky. As fresh water fish, sometimes it has earthy smell that can reduce your appetite. Indonesian 'pepes' method is the best for carp, I think. It's slow cooking method (steaming) using many herbs and wrapped with banana leaf. But it takes hours to have the best result. Another way to minimize the earthy smell is frying method. It's the simplest way, and that's what I do here.
Fried fish has crunchy texture and to add the flavor any kind of sauce will do. This time I use many shallots to make this kind of sauce. It's the simplier version of dabu-dabu sauce. I only need 5-6 cloves of shallot, 4-5 rawit chilli (or chilli padi or any kind of hot chillies), juice from 1 lime, hot oil, water, sugar and salt. It's better if you make the sauce in advance, so the sauce will have a deep, strong flavor.
Before making the sauce, I prefer to marinate the fish, using only lime juice and salt. First, carve slightly the fish that already scaled, gutted, and rinsed. Rub it with lime juice and sprinkle it with salt. Set it aside. And then it's time to make the sauce.
Making the sauce:
- Thinly slice the shallots and chillies, put them in a glass bowl.
- Add the lime juice, sugar and salt, then stir until it's all incorporated. Taste it if it has a good flavor, a balance of sweet-sour-spicy taste. If it's too tangy, give a little amount of water, then set it aside.
And now just frying the fish:
- In the frying pan put it oil until it's enough to deep fry.
- Pat the fish to eliminate the excess of water, so that it won't explode when frying.
- Fry the fish on medium heat, until it's crisp and golden brown.
Before you serve the sauce, add 2-3 tablespoons of that hot cooking oil into the sauce. And then pour it to the fried fish. Enjoy it with fresh cooked rice. Yum! And beware, it can be too spicy!