October Cooking Club - a handed down recipe

This month's cooking club challenge is to use a recipe handed down through voice, handwritten notes or inspired by memories. I chose to re-create my father's sweet and sour fish.
My father used to make a mean version of this sweet and sour fish except instead of using fish fillets, he'd use the whole fish. I remember watching him deep fry the fish whole, to a lovely golden crisp before pouring his homemade sweet and sour sauce with generous portions of capsicum, pineapples and onions over the top just before serving.

Like most children, I loved this dish because it was sweet (and deep fried). I remember how my parents used to tell me that in life, I can't just focus on the sweet; It is important to experience all four taste sensations: sour, sweet, bitter and spicy. I used to take it quite literally and ate all sorts of sour, sweet, bitter (bittergourd, anyone?) and spicy foods growing up.

As I got older, I realised it was meant figuratively as well. In one's journey in life, it is important to experience all sorts of things; be it sweet (and lovely), unpleasant (sour), sad (bitter) and spicy (excitement). And how true this is.

What food do you remember from your childhood?

Don't forget to visit the other club cookers to see what they have whipped up:

Lucent Imagery (cooking club founder)

48 Responses to October Cooking Club - a handed down recipe

Beauty Box said...

That makes me v nostalgic indeed - deep fried sweet n sour fish! It looks so delish...Well done! I've got to try that one at home some day...

GagCloud said...

Thanks for sharing sweetie ^^

tinajo said...

Very nice story! Oh, I remember a kind of steak my grandmother did with plumbs in it - she´d always slice the leftovers really thin and let me have it on a sandwhich, and it tasted wonderful with the sweet and salty combined! :-)

I´ve cooked it myself as well - but hers was better (of course)! :-)

rooth said...

Mmm, this looks might tasty. And my parents used to tell me the same thing as well. :)

Anouka said...

How could I resist fried fish? This looks very delicious. I agree that life comes in all sorts of tastes.

Lucent Imagery said...

Oh yum, reading these before breakfast, my stomach just growled! I love the philosophy of life that this dish inspired! I haven't had a sweet and sour dish in ages. Mmmm perhaps something for me to try soon in my kitchen.

Marsa said...

eeee that looks so good! :)
i need to start cooking more of a variety of things. I think i cook the same things too much

happyleeliving.blogspot.com

Debie Grace said...

I can totally relate to what your parents said. My parents didn't tell me those things directly but I learned it from them through the years.

As for the recipe, my family uses whole fish for sweet and sour. But I like it better when it's cut to small pieces.

Winnie said...

Yum, I love S/S Fish too. In fact, I also love Sweetcorn Fish? My mum fries pieces of monkfish and then makes a sweetcorn sauce and it's the most delicious thing ever.

helen said...

love the analogy between tastes and seasons of life! plus, this looks legit and tasty!

Shirley Tay said...

I love anything sweet & sour, especially prawns. Hubby & son will go for the fish instead. The fish looks well fried & crispy! Awesome, dear!

Elly @ Caribbean Living said...

YUM! I'm a huge fan of sweet and sour here in Hong Kong, can't get enough of it!

K.Lee said...

drool....looks so good. I had to learn how to cook from my husband when we first started dating...i never had to cook until i left home. All i knew what how to cook rice 5 different ways.

thanks for sharing!

xx,
klee

kisskissbyklee.blogspot.com

Smitten ByFood said...

Hmmm.... I love Hakka Lui Cha very much. I always have it during Chinese NEw Year at my Gramma house. It hearty and absolutely delicious. =)

Laura Go said...

ermergerd. this looks fabuloso. and it has such a great story to it as well. I haven't had fried sweet and sour fish in a very long time. STARVING now.
♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights
the shop of worldly delights

ChristaToTheMax said...

That looks absolutely fantastic!My mouth is watering and my partner is asking "What's for dinner!?" :chuckles: If only I had the ingredients for that tasty-looking dish!

Kylie said...

What wise advice from your parents! :)

Juanita said...

Mmm... So deep with philosophy.

::little projects in style:: said...

What a sweet story to go with this classic dish! I used to love it when mum made the pork chop version of this dish! :)

Suprajen888 said...

Its only 10.07am in the UK, I'm at work and I wish I hadn't looked at this post cos now I'm mega hungry. I cant not do without sweet and sour...love it!

Jen xoxo
http://suprajen888.blogspot.co.uk/

Gracie said...

This looks soo good but I'm on a fairly strict diet at the moment and this would be a no no.

Patricia González Fernández said...

it looks really delicious!!!!!!

http://thefantasticfashionworld.blogspot.com.es/

Kimmie said...

Lick ya lips delish!

Christine ♥ CHRiiSSYDOLLXO said...

oh my gosh, this is sooo yummy!! definitely one of my favourite foods :) thanks for sharing, i'm hungry now. hehe <3

Pink Ronnie said...

THat looks sooo yummy. My mum's potato and chicken wings is one of my all-time favourite dishes. Also, I also liked 'smelly tofu' whenever we went back to HK for a visit.
Ronnie xo

Pink Ronnie said...

THat looks sooo yummy. My mum's potato and chicken wings is one of my all-time favourite dishes. Also, I also liked 'smelly tofu' whenever we went back to HK for a visit.
Ronnie xo

Pamela RG said...

Looks so delicious! I love this dish too. My mom cooks this dish very well too. We should really learn a lot of cooking recipes from our parents.

Lisa said...

i love this post! one because i love sweet and sour foods hahaha.. two because i loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee LOVE fried fish like nobodies business hahaha.. but i really love the message behind this! and it's so true.. if you don't experience the "sour" and "bitter" you can't truly appreciate the "sweet" and "spicy" parts of life :)

and don't you EVER say that about your chanel hahahaha.. nothing about chanel is ever dull.. not even in black :p chanel is fabulous in any shape or form!!!

Erica said...

I love sweet and sour chicken and shrimp. I never tried it with fish before. It looks really good.

María Lapetiteblonde said...

WOWW really ike it dear!!
xoxo and have a nice day=)

Briseidy said...

looks delicious, thanks for sharing!

Paulina said...

Mmm yummy !:)

cquek said...

your stuff is just amazing. I just love it.

Mary Jo at TrustYourStyle said...

So true and how sweet that as a child you tried to do as your parents advised! I remember sweet and sour duck as being a favorite as a child and of course pink donuts (mostly for the color)!

xo Mary Jo

Gillian said...

That looks AMAZING! My tummy is rumbling. I love recipes and meals that are handed down and full of memories and traditions. My childhood was full of fairly typical British food, and lots of baking, and I am thankful for it now as it taught me so much and I can do my own twist on things.

Katherine / Of Corgis and Cocktails said...

mmm this look so good i am literally drooling. it sounds sooo yummy i can't stand it

<3 katherine
of corgis and cocktails

Sam said...

Isn't is amazing how we relates certain foods to our childhood and families, this looks really flavorful and yum. I like how you explained the different tastes!

Punctuation Mark said...

I love family recipes... It looks delicious!

nyuu said...

lol I feel stupid, I had to google what "capsicum" was…. I call them bell peppers XD But capsicum makes them sound fancier :)

I'm not a really big fan of deep fried food, but your version of sweet and sour fish look delicious. It's nice to hear that your parents provided you wisdom ( food for thought ).

I like bitter food, so I never associated bitter=sad. Ah, I guess in my world, it's quite the opposite.

nyuu
lolitium.net

carolina said...

yummmii! it looks so delicious! :) i'm going to try it thanks to you :) what do you think about following each other? visit my baby blog and you can enter my INTERNATIONAL giveaway, i have at least one giveaway per month :)

much love,
http://thefrench-fries.blogspot.pt/

Issa Tchieu said...

True that! its amazing hw u can talk abt a dish and then quote from it. Interesting post.

Do check out my new post on MMM x H&M!
ISSA TCHIEU

Gloria said...

Oh this looks absolutely delicious! I think I need more spiciness in my life :-)

Jamie lee said...

Oh my god a lovely story to match and equally lovely looking dish. It looks like it turned out so crisp. Yum!

Shoko said...

this looks and sounds so delicious. can you send some over here? :)

Jenee C. said...

Excellent post! Your version looks delicious and I bet it would have made your dad proud.

xx Jenee C.
{camo meets couture}

Arleene said...

thanks for your comment on my blog.
do you want to follow each other?
im following you now. hope you follow back.

arleene

arleenesfashioncloset.blogspot.com

Shoe Bell(i)e said...

Love, love sweet & sour fish!:)

Sharlynn said...

Absolutely awesome, I like all things sweet & sour. I remember as a child eating my grandmas still amazing stewed pork with salted vegetables. It's not difficult to make and I hope to master her recipe soon! Thanks for sharing, oh boy it looks good.