Mexican bass with kaffir lime leaves, chili pepper, shallot
My coworkers understood why half of this fillet disappeared into my tummy in the few steps between my kitchen and the dining table. They said they would have eaten the whole thing after they tasted it. One of them didn't even like fish but will attempt making this at home.
Ingredients: One fillet (any bass, golden sole fillet or grenadier is fine, this one ~0.7 lbs,) 3 kaffir lime leaves, 1 chili pepper, a small shallot (or onion,) and 1-tablespoon olive oil
Sprinkle both side of the fish with some salt (less on the thin end, or season only one side if it's a thin piece throughout) let sit for about 1 hour in fridge. Cut the shallot, kaffir lime leaves, and chili pepper into small pieces.
Heat up a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When the pan is hot, add shallot, mix and let cook for a minute. Wash salt off whichever side of fillet that was facing down. Make space in the pan and place the top/dry side facing down first, add the leaves and chili on top, cook for a minute. Cover lid, lower heat, cook ~3 minutes, then flip over, cover lid for another 3-4 minutes. Done.
Shrimps with Zucchini Blossoms
Ingredients: Shrimps, zucchini with blossoms, garlic, ginger, lemon
Seasoning: Salt, pepper
Season shrimps with salt, pepper, juice of one wedge lemon piece. Slice the lemon wedge and mix in with the shrimps. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove lemon before cooking. Cut zucchini, slice garlic and ginger.
Heat up frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil (or 1-tablespoon butter if you have it and 1-tablespoon olive oil.) When hot, mix in garlic and ginger, then add shrimps. Cover and let cook over medium heat until shrimps turn a bit pink. Add the veggies, mix, cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle some salt, mix, done.
Option: You can use other greens like sugar snap peas or okra.
Scallops with Garlic, Parsley, and Lemon
Ingredients: Scallops (6 in my bag, 0.6-lb,) hand full of parsley, one wedge lemon slice, 3 garlic cloves, olive oil, unsalted butter (optional,) salt, and paprika (optional)
Slice garlic and chop parsley. Smear the frying pan with butter if you have it, then add about 1-tablespoon olive oil. Heat up the pan over medium heat. When hot, add scallops and then evenly spread garlic slices on top, cover lid and let cook for 2 minutes. Water will come out of scallops. If you prefer medium rare, maybe don't cover lid.
Lightly sprinkle some salt and paprika, turn over the scallops, lightly sprinkle some salt again, add parsley, cover lid and let cook for 2 minutes. I like my scallop cooked through, so I lowered the heat, flipped scallops again, cover and let cook for a couple minutes longer. Turn heat off, sprinkle lemon juice and transfer to plate.
Miso Black Cod
1-lb black cod
2 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon hot water (to dissolve the miso)
1 tablespoon rice wine (alternative: white wine or water)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili paste (I used Sambal Oelek chili paste. The amount is not spicy.)
Half small lemon (both juice and skin)
Meat of 1 small soft/ripe hachiya persimmon, or 1 tablespoon of peach or strawberry jam instead
Dissolve the miso with hot water first, then add rest of ingredients in a big bowl except the cod. Sample the marinade to see if you need to add more soy sauce or water before adding the cod. Let sit for a few hours or overnight in fridge. Remove from marinade and bake at 375F for 30 minutes.
Season the salmon with salt and lemon, let sit in fridge for about 30 minutes. If left overnight in fridge, wash off salt before cooking. Heat up the pan without oil (dry-fry,) put the salmon in when pan is hot, add the sliced fennel (I used two stalks,) then change to low heat and cover lid. Let cook for about 6-7 minutes each side or until golden/light brown color.
Option: You can use garlic and dill instead of fennel. Add minced garlic to the seasoning, but remove it and set aside before cooking because garlic burns easily. Add garlic and dill to the pan when cooking the other side.
Pan-fried Swordfish Fritters
Ingredients: Swordfish, eggs, cilantro, lemon (or lime), oil and salt
Slice and season the fish with salt and lemon, let sit for about 30 minutes. Mix 2 eggs with chopped cilantro. Smear the batter onto the fish and pan-fry with some oil over medium heat.
Fish can be done even simpler. like below.
Dry- or Pan-fried Fish
Usually I season the fish with salt, sometimes salt and pepper, let sit for about 30 minutes (longer if thicker,) then dry- or pan-fry them. Dry-fry is same as pan-fry minus the oil. Optional: lemon (use as part of seasoning or sprinkle over fish when done cooking.)
From left to right: shark tail, arctic char (orange color when raw, trout texture + salmon flavor,) and red snapper/rock cod. I've made halibut, pink snapper, swordfish, yellow tail, salmon, branzino, seabream the same way.
I used to pan-fry fish with oil, but I've recently started dry-frying them (no oil added) over medium heat in the non-stick pan. Made sure the pan is hot (but not burning) before you put the fish in. I think fish will stick to the bottom more easily if you don't heat up the pan first. So far I've dry-fried red snapper (the whole fish in the picture above,) salmon, branzino, and arctic char, all turned out great.
For lean fish like shark, halibut, and swordfish, pay-fry with some oil is still the best.
Garlic Butter Prawns
My eyes are bigger than my stomach, so I bought both small and big prawns (with roe) to try. Both delicious, except the big ones have a lot of eggs, almost too much - I couldn't eat more than one at a time. The shells are hard as rock and spikes sharp, they poke you like sewing needles. I do not recommend trying this at home if you don't have a stainless steel frying pan or pot. I'm certain the spikes will obliterate the coating of a non-stick pan.
Ingredients: Butter, garlic, salt and pepper, and some rice wine or water. Optional: Ginger
Add about 1-2 tablespoon of butter to the pan, medium-high heat, When melted, add ginger if you have it, prawns, stir so each piece gets some butter. Then add garlic, 1-2 splashes of rice wine or water, sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, mix, cover lid, lower heat, and let steam for a few minutes (big size: ~5-6 minutes. small: ~3-4 minutes.) Finito.
Squid with Celery and Bell Pepper
Squid is one of my favorite seafood but least favorite thing to prepare. Because when you buy from farmer's market, it comes with eyes and all the inners. The whole package. But the freshness and firm/crunchy texture is worth the trouble.
Ingredients: Squid, celery, red bell pepper, ginger, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Optional: Rice wine.
Cut the squid above the eyes, just before where the tentacles starts. Pull out and discard the eyes, the connecting inners, and the transparent plastic-like stem, like shown in the upper middle picture. Gross Yes. Keep the tentacles and cut the body. Sounds like murder. Rinse the pieces and squeeze dry. Add about a tablespoon of rice wine if you have it to the squid. Cut the veggies.
Heat up frying pan over medium-high heat, add oil (I used lard and olive oil,) add garlic and ginger, mix. Then toss in celery and bell pepper, mix, add a bit of water and cover lid to cook for a couple minutes. Add squid including the rice wine to the batch. If you don't have rice wine, add a splash of water. Mix, cover lid, and let it cook for a minute. Mix in a bit of salt and pepper. Done.
Asparagus also goes well with calamari. Optional: squeeze some lemon juice over the cleaned squid, mix and let sit for about 5 minutes before cooking. Pan fry like the above. No rice wine this time, but feel free to use it.
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