I've been trying to cook more fish recently due to access to fresh fish, health benefits, practicing cooking skills, etc. A couple of really fun dishes have come out, and I wanted to share the recipes.
First off, milkfish with a soy, miso, parmesan, and pear sauce with sauteed cherry tomatoes. The inspiration for this dish came when I was just talking about cooking with a work colleague. We were thinking up white sauces to go with fish, and I spouted off a soy/miso sauce with pomegranate seeds recipe. Come weekend time, I couldn't wait to try the recipe and make it work. Unfortunately, no super market seems to carry fresh pomegranate anymore, so I decided to use pear and tomatoes instead. Luckily, this turned out really well!
The recipe is as follows:
- Fillet the milkfish. This can be pretty difficult, given how boney the fish is, so feel free to leave some bones in if you're used to eating whole fish like me.
- Dry the fillets with paper towels and salt/pepper both sides of the fillet
- Mince some garlic and start sauteeing it on medium heat in a sauce pan or small pot.
- Once the garlic is sizzling, add in 1/2 a cup of unsweetened soy milk into the pan.
- Mix in 1-2 tbsp of white miso, letting it slowly dissolve in the soy milk
- Grate 1/2 a cup of parmesan into the soy milk, mixing to dissolve
- Grate 2 fragrant asian pears (relatively small) or 1 American/Korean pear of some sort into the soy milk mixture
- Leave the soy milk mixture to simmer on medium heat to reduce
- While the soy milk mixture simmers, add oil to a cast iron pan and sear the milk fish fillets. Leave the fillets on for 5-10 minutes
- Put the fillets aside on a plate after they're done
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and start sauteeing them in the cast iron, skin side down.
- After the cherry tomatoes are done, we're basically good to plate. One optional step is to blend the soy milk sauce with a hand blender to aerate it a bit and make the texture consistent.
- Pour the soy milk sauce onto the fish fillets, add the tomatoes, and we're done with the dish.
The next dish came about since I had a bit more time to cook this weekend (Yay George Washington!). I wanted to work on my fish cooking today and play around with Fennel. I decided to combine the two into the dish above: pan-seared cod with orange-soy sauce on a bed of sauteed fennel, finished with some orange zest and grated chocolate. To add a post-valentine's flare, I added some strawberry roses to the plating. The lighteness and acidity of the strawberry also helps round out the dish. The fish turned out beautifully, and the sauce has a really nice complexity to it.
- This time around, I started off with some already-filleted fish, so my first step of prep was just seasoning the fillets with salt/pepper and drying it out
- Grate the zest of an orange into a small bowl and set it aside. Cut the orange in 1/2.
- Cut off the stems of the fennel and refrigerate. They can be used for stock later. Keep the dill on top for garnish later.
- Cut the fennel bulb into quarters, and then thinly slice the fennel to prepare for sauteeing. Thinly slice a few cloves of garlic as well.
- Melt some butter in a pan. Once the butter's melted and heated up, put in 3/4ths of the orange zest in the pan.
- Grind some Sichuan Peppercorn in a pestle & mortar. This will go great with the citrus flavor of the sauce.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/2 the orange into the pan and let the sugars caramelize a bit.
- Add 1/2 a cup of soymilk into the pan with the orange zest and butter.
- Add 1-2 tbsp of miso and mix it into the sauce. Let the sauce reduce.
- While the sauce is reducing, heat up a cast iron pan with some olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the fennel and sprinkle some sugar on top to caramalize.
- Add in the garlic on top, then let the fennel sit. Stir once when the bottom side is browned.
- Salt and pepper the fennel, stir once more, and place it on a plate.
- The sauce should be sufficiently reduced by now. Squeeze in a bit of the second 1/2 of the orange to add a bit of freshness to the sauce. Put the sauce in a small bowl and blend it with a stick blender.
- Now, heat up the cast iron pan again and sear the cod fillets.
- Once the cod fillets are done, place the fillets on top of the fennel. Pour the sauce on top.
- Sprinkle the left over orange zest around the plate and grate some dark chocolate over top.
- Place a few strawberries, and dinner is served.
Hope you guys enjoyed these two dishes. These were definitely more westerin in style for my cooking, but I tried to blend in some eastern elements which fits my tastes more. Hope you guys like that too. Be sure to check back for more. Cheers!