Friday, December 23, 2011

"Feast of the Seven Fishes", my way

While the Italians-Americans celebrate Christmas Eve with Feast of the Seven Fishes; to the Chinese, a quintessential fish dish for reunion dinners during the Chinese New Year symbolizes prosperity and abundance.

2011 will end soon with the the New Year 2012 being welcomed, here is my take on "seven fishes" for the new year; AND the Chinese New Year (23rd and 24th Jan 2012) - for all good tidings to come.

As a welcome to the new year, there are new fish dishes featured below with recap of some older recipes at the same time. The past, present and future are part of us. What is your take on whole fish? I absolutely enjoy whole fish and usually get them fresh (and "live") from the Asian supermarket.

(1) NEW: Negi Miso Baked Mackerel (adapted from Negi Miso Chicken@ Nami's - Just One Cookbook ). The sweetened-up of leeks while caramelizing balances the savoriness of the miso - the perfect marinade for this fish when I did not have teriyaki sauce to do the more common/popular teriyaki-glazed fish.

(2) NEW: Braised Whole Tilapia in Soy-Based Sauce with Green Onions, Ginger, Tomatoes, Shitake Mushrooms. My friend calls this "Lazy Man's Fish" 懒人鱼as the fish is not pan-fried (a lazy way of cooking, thus the name) prior to braising. Not perfecto but the flavors are definitely not compromised I can guarantee. I enjoy it a lot!

(3) NEW: Steamed Whole Tilapia with Ginger, Green Onions, Tomatoes on a bed of greens. Steaming is one of the best ways to cook a fresh fish, if you ask me. And to me, this is even simpler to cook than the braised fish above. Well, just for a sake of change and to tamper the taste buds once in a while, I interchange "steaming" and "braising" quite often.

But of course, the convenience of fillets (without the extra cleaning and scaling) as part of kitchen prep. cannot be over-emphasized.

(4) Who says you can't steam fillets? I have done it many times and it works. I love this Meyer Lemon Steamed Fish Fillets. So easy to make and very nutritious.

Also this Steamed Halibut Fillet with Tofu, Mushrooms garnished with Fried Shallots, Fresh Red Chilis

and Steamed Fish Rolls

(5) If you like the intensity of fried food, try Pan-Fried Fish Fillet in Ginger-Soy Based Sauce or

make Mini Fish Fingers

Want the intensity but not the frying mess? Baking fish fillets is a great idea.

(6) Baked Snapper Fillet with Shallots and Herbs ...or

try Parchment-Baked Cod/Halibut Fillet with Vegetables - En Papillote

And how can I forget these lovelies - no doubt they are Brisling Sardines in a tin.

(7) Here, they are Simply Dressed Brisling Sardines with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tomatoes and Cilantro

Happy Fish-ing, or rather...enjoy fish!

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year, to all of you!

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