Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Toothfish, Anyone?

C loves fish but I used to only like the skin and the soft areas around the tail and fins until we discovered the Patagonian toothfish. I stopped cooking red meat at home and switched to having the fish several times a mth. The fish is so tasty cooked in Asian styles unlike salmon. I love its skin and the smooth tender flesh. In Chinese restaurants, they usually deep fry to get the nice crispy skin, served with sauce poured over the fish. I like this dish but I cook it differently as we consume enough oil laden foods when we eat out. The fastest method is grilling the fish in the oven. The natural juices are retained and we also get the slight crisp texture of the skin.

The fish is bought whole and cut into cutlets before cooking. They do come in cutlets but they are a few$ dearer per kg.

This is cooked with chopped chili, garlic, ginger, soya sauce, oyster sauce , cooking wine, sesame seed oil.... Lots of garlic (good for us) and tomatoes (lycopene). Other times, to get a diff tangy variation, I use lemon juice and more sugar instead of the soya. I no longer use tamarind paste after finding a long strand of human hair in it( I double/triple checked) Chopped lemon grass, if I feel like it. Haven't tried the 'kiam chai' and preserved plums with the fish though.

Steamed(or grilled) with soya sauce, sesame seed oil. ginger, chili, coriander or spring onion. Another variation- sauce made with chopped celery & ginger, soya & oyster sauce, corn flour.

Pan fried plain with lots of garlic cloves in olive oil or as below, which I seasoned with the oriental beef spices [grounded paprika, chili, fennel,onion,star anise, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, clove] I got from a Vietnamese grocery shop. Supposed to be used for broiling beef. Instead I tried it on the fish and liked it. Been using it since. Sometimes I use sea salt granules instead of the usual table salt. I threw in some tiger prawns for this grilled version.

I love the versatility of the fish and it tastes great in so many varied styles.

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