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 Green Garlic and Onion
Ingredients: Shrimps, green garlic, small onion, unsalted butter (optional,) olive oil, salt
If the shrimps didn't come deveined, you can cut along the edge of the back (but not through the belly side) to remove the vein. The shellfish looks sexier with the slit when cooked.
Heat up pan over medium heat, smear the pan with a light layer (or 1-tablespoon) of butter and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or 2-tablespoon if no butter.) When hot, mix in onion, the white and light green part of green garlic, cook for a couple minutes or when you smell the fragrance. Add shrimps, remaining garlic, mix and evenly spread. Cook each side for about two minutes or until shrimps turn pink. Then sprinkle salt, mix and cook for another minute if you want to brown the shellfish a little.
Alternative: You can use other greens like sugar snap peas, zucchini, or squash blossoms.
Scallops with Garlic, Shallot, Lemon Thyme
Ingredients: Scallops, garlic, shallot, lemon thyme, chili pepper (optional,) olive oil, unsalted butter (optional,) and salt
Cut the veggies. Heat up the pan over medium heat. Smear the pan with a light layer of butter if you have it, then add some olive oil. When hot, add garlic, shallot, chili pepper, and cook for a minute. Add scallops, cook for a minute, add thyme, cover, low heat, cook for 2 minutes (juice will come out of the scallops.) Move the thyme so scallop surfaces visible, sprinkle some salt, then flip the scallops over, cover to cook the other side for another couple minutes. Sprinkle some salt, mix well with other ingredients. Done.
Miso Black Cod
1-lb black cod
2 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon water
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.)
A big lemon wedge (both juice and skin)
Meat of 1 small soft/ripe hachiya persimmon, or 1 tablespoon of peach or strawberry jam instead
Combine water, wine, soy sauce in a bowl and dissolve the miso in the mixture first. Mix in chili paste, lemon juice/skin (squeeze juice then cut to pieces,) add cod to the bowl or put the cod in a bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Let sit for a few hours or overnight in fridge. Remove from marinade and bake at 375F for 25 - 30 minutes.
I've marinated rock cod/bank perch with the same ingredients and pan fried the fish with olive oil. Just as tasty.
Dill Garlic Salmon
Ingredients: Salmon, dill, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper
Season the salmon with lemon juice first, then salt, pepper, and garlic. I leave lemon slices on top of the fillet - helps me remember the ingredients when it's in the picture. Let sit in fridge for about 30 minutes (longer ok.) Chop the dill to small pieces.
Before frying, remove lemon, set garlic (burns easily) aside for later. Heat up the pan without oil (dry-fry) over medium heat. Put the fillet skin side down when pan is hot, cook for a minute, then lower heat and cover lid. Cook for about 6-7 minutes or until the bottom side is golden brown. Add garlic and dill, then flip the salmon over to cook the other side (fish sitting on top of herbs.) Cover and cook for same amount of time.
Alternative: You can use fennel instead of garlic and dill.
Lane Snapper with Onion, Rosemary, and Lemon
Ingredients: Lane snapper (~1-lb,) 1 small onion or shallot, 1 chili pepper, some rosemary, a lemon wedge, 1-tablespoon olive oil, and salt
Squeeze lemon juice over the fish, season with salt, let sit for 1 hour in fridge. Heat up the pan over medium heat, add olive oil, cook the onion first (until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute,) then mix in chili and rosemary, cook for another minute. Add fish (top side facing down b/c it's more dry than the bottom side,) spread the herbs over the snapper, then cover, lower heat (between medium and low) and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip over, cover, and cook for anther 4-5 minutes.
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.
Pan- or Dry-fry Fish
Usually I season the fish with salt, sometimes salt and pepper or paprika, let sit for about 30 minutes or longer, 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, steelhead, and branzino.
For fish with more oil, I've dry-fried them over medium heat in a non-stick pan when I'm cooking the fish by itself (e.g. no ginger or onion or other herbs.) Made sure the pan is hot (but not burning) before you put the fish in. Fish will stick to the bottom more easily if you don't heat up the pan first. So far I've dry-fried salmon, branzino, and arctic char, all turned out great.
For lean fish like shark, barramundi, 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.
Squeeze some lemon juice over the cleaned squid, mix and let sit for about 5 minutes before cooking. I usually cut about 2 inches off from the root of the asparagus if the stems are hard (too much fiber, chewy.) They are already cut in the photo. Pan fry like before. No rice wine this time, but feel free to use it.
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