Thursday, May 24, 2007

Steaming frozen fillets - halibut and cod, but others ?

If you ask me if you could steam a frozen fillet, I would say "Yes" (*terms and conditions apply), and it can turn out unexpectedly delicious, what you would not have imagined. Well, you don't always have to pan-fry a previously-frozen fillet. Pan-frying and sauteeing is easy and imparts a lightly-fried fragrance to the fish, but steaming is easy too, and you taste the full flavor of the fish! If a slow-cooker or crock pot is a "one-pot wonder"; steaming, in my opinion, will be a "one-plate wonder". So Mr. Hali But, since you promised that you are the "premium" of fish, the "steak" of seafood, I decided to put you to the steam-test, after pan-frying you the other time. Only in this test, your true-self (muddy, stale or fresh, sweet) can be unveiled.

Snow white halibut and the seven dwarfs (tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, red chili, cilantro, fried shallots, and the light sweet-savory gravy juices)

Steamed halibut/cod fillets (serve 2)
- one medium size halibut (can use cod fillets good)
-1 block silken/soft tofu, cut to thin square or rectangles
-1 pack buna shimeji mushrooms
-2 stalks spring onions, slice to small pieces; 1tbsp for seasoning, the remaining for garnish
-handful of cilantro leaves, chopped finely
-2 red chili (remove seeds if you prefer mild spicy), sliced to small pieces
-fried shallots

Marinade/seasoning (for fish):
-2tsps cooking wine
-2tsp crushed ginger
-dashes of sesame oil
-1tsp dark soy sauce
-1tbsp of the chopped spring onions above

1. Mix the seasoning and smear them on the fish fillet before steaming
2.Follow this: Layer tofu on bottom of plate; top with mushrooms and some spring onions, place seasoned fish on top of tofu and mushrooms, and steam for abt 10-15mins (depending on thickness of fish)
Note: Steam the fish, with the plate covered over, with a saran wrap or a cover to prevent excess condensation of the steam on the fish. The fish dish will not dry out. On the contrary, you will be surprised to find hint of sweet-savory gravy juices being produced in the steaming process - moisture for the the gravy probably came from partially, the fish; and substantially, the tofu.
3. Garnish with red chili, remaining spring onions, cilantro, fried shallots. All these add to the flavors too.

Snow white halibut and the seven dwarfs (tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, red chili, cilantro, fried shallots, and the light sweet-savory gravy juices)!

A good fish substitute is cod fillet. I like this dish so much that I tried it with Alaskan cod fillets and it worked just as well, if not better. Cod could be better(personal preference) because the flesh is not as firm as halibut and gives a softer-flakier texture.
(I did not take pictures of the steamed cod though since there are already halibut pictures to show, and both the fishes look exactly the same on photos!)

Pure white, snow white - even the gravy juice is crystal clear. Yep, I called it juice because it's the combination of juices from the mushrooms, tofu and fish.

*Terms and conditions:
(1) Delicious, only limited to halibut and cod fillets
(2) Halibut and cod fillets to be wild-caught
(3) Halibut and cod fillets to be frozen (once) at source
(4) Halibut and cod fillets to be Alaskan
(5) Halibut, preferable but not limited to Trident Seafood's Alaskan Halibut; Cod, preferable but not limited to Trader Joes's Alaskan Cod.

(P.S. If you were just squinching your eyes, I'm sorry but terms and conditions usually needs to be in fine-print, right?)

Limited to terms and conditions, else warranty for delicious steamed fillets not guaranteed. As you know, it's a fish after all, and the term "fishy business" does not come from no where. So, where steaming a fish is concerned, and if you wish to try this recipe, better be rigid and stick to the terms of the "contract". Sign on dotted line....NOW!!!

But if you lucky enough to be able to get fresh fish (by fresh, meaning fishes swimming in a tank), have the helper at the supermarket catch one by the net for you, and kill it right in front of you eyes, you can try Simcooks or MeltingWok, who have procured their fish live from the tank.

Related posts:
Halibut-Pan fried
Salmon - Grilled/baked
Tilapia - in a curry
Fish fillet - in pesto
Fish paste - grilled in banana leaves

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