China is welcoming the Year of the Horse today. This day marks a new beginning, and is celebrated with ceremonies and food festivals all over the country and overseas. For several days, Chinese people all over the world will celebrate the arrival of the New Year in their unique and colorful way, ending these festivities with the beautiful lantern festival, two weeks later.
In Peru, there is a large Chinese population that has kept its roots and traditions alive through several generations. In our Barrio Chino -or Chinatown– there will be parades, store owners will sell amulets for the New Year, and restaurants will be packed with diners, not only Chinese but of all ethnicities. As you may know, Peruvians have been in love with Chinese food for many decades. A proof of this is that most of our streets are filled with Chifas (Chinese restaurants with a slight Peruvian fusion). What better way to welcome the Chinese New Year than feasting at one of the best Chifas in town?
For me, this is yet another excuse to enjoy many of the Chinese dishes I love. Today, I have made some fish anticuchos, served with an Oriental sauce that has a sweet and savory combination of flavors that I love. These anticuchos are very easy to make. Just make sure you buy the freshest fish you find, and have everything ready before you start cooking. You will have a delicious fusion meal on the table in a matter of minutes.
- • 1 lb fish filets, cut in 1 x 1 inch dice
- • 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch dice
- • 12 scallions, the white part
- • ½ cup rice vinegar
- • ¼ cup sugar
- • ¼ cup oyster sauce
- • 2 cups fish stock
- • 1-2 tablespoons ají panca paste
- • Salt and pepper
- • 3 tablespoons butter
- • ½ tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
- • 2 tablespoons green part of the scallions, finely sliced
- Using bamboo skewers, thread the fish pieces, alternating with the bell pepper and the scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic film and put in the fridge.
- Put rice vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and starts to turn lightly golden.
- Add oyster sauce, fish stock, and ají panca paste. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat to low and add the butter, piece by piece, swirling the saucepan until the sauce is slightly thick and glossy.
- Grill –or broil- the anticuchos for 5 minutes, turning once. Do not let the fish dry.
- Put in a plate and cover with the sauce. Sprinkle with the scallion greens, and serve.