Fried fish for Frieda

( This is part of a new project – virtual cooking for friends during #COVID19

This current coronavirus pandemic means that for many of us, disabled people with social isolation, are restricted to virtual meetings.

As it means no eating together – here’s a new project in that we would cook a dish with the friend in mind and share it here. The recipes here are not expert cooking but shared with love.)

My friend, Frieda Van Der Poll, used to help me in Coventry to do all sorts of things – one of which, is to help me cook. She also supported me in access auditing and organise projects for Connect Culture. Now that I moved to London, we don’t have much of those opportunities anymore. When we had a conversation lately, I discovered that she has become a pescatarian and we (of course) discussed recipes!

So this dish is for Frieda, something we would definitely enjoy together. It is very simple.


Seabass, cleaned and gutted (or any whole fish or fillet of fish)
3 tablespoons of olive or peanut oil
half an inch or root ginger, sliced finely
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
spring onions
chillies, seeded and sliced
soya sauce/ oyster sauce
1 tomato, sliced
a dash of wine (optional)

cut chillies, sliced ginger, garlic and spring onions on a green chopping board with knife

Cooking method

Heat up the oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic on a medium heat till it sizzles. You want to keep an eye on this because the garlic and ginger will flavour the oil but if burnt, will leave an acrid burnt taste. Move them to the side to make room for the fish. The fish should be well patted dry with paper towels or any drops of water would cause the oil to splatter. This can be dangerous.

Slide the fish into the wok

Slide the fish gently into the sizzling oil in the wok. Be careful to maintain a safe distance from the pan if you ‘re watching this, especially if you re at a wheelchair level and keep the heat at a medium temperature. After about 5 minutes, turn the fish gently over.

Leave the fish to fry and add the ginger, garlic and chillies

Add the ginger, garlic and chilies. After another 5 minutes or so, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce and same anount of soy sauce. I prefer light soy sauce but you can use dark soy if preferred. Light soy sauce is more salty while the dark soy is thicker and is darker. If you wish, you can even add some wine at this stage. Shaoshing Chinese rice wine or white wine if you were planning to have some to accompany the fish. Knowing Frieda, it would probably be a dry white Spanish wine?

Fried Seabass with tomatoes on a green banana leaf plate
Fried Seabass with tomatoes

We’ve also fried some tomotoes to accompany the fish. And sprinkled on fresh spring onions for garnish.

Bon appetit!

From Eleanor
assisted by James

By Eleanor, assisted by James.

photo of East Asian woman on wheelchair holding a spatula awkwardly frying lardons in a wok. Behind her is a loaded sink and a microwave.
Eleanor Lisney

Eleanor ‘s love for all types of cuisine comes from being Malaysian born and bred. She started to cook at university at Canterbury and learn about French cuisine when she was a stay at home mum for more than 10 years in Strasbourg, France.

She finds cooking on her own more problematic and gets her PAs / friends to help her do the heavy work so she can do some cooking from her wheelchair.


photo of cooked spinach leaves on a white plate and a fork with the word cuisine