In my New Year's post, I mentioned the Missus's new found love of shopping and markets....we now share our weekend mornings grocery shopping, something that was a solo job for me less then a year ago. She even shops on Her days off, most Thursdays you'll find Her buying a thousand bunches of kale and chard from the Linda Vista Farmer's Market. Since Catalina changed their set-up, She'll even shop for fish and seafood, often texting me what She thinks is good.....often buying more then She thought....I guess it always looks smaller on the other side of the counter. There is one thing that sometimes makes this a challenge.......She'll often somewhat vaguely request "something good for a change". On the Tuesday after Christmas, She went to Catalina and ended buying a good amount of fish. The wheels were turning.....when I got home from work I received the request. "I want something with Asian flavors that I like....something you've never made before...." On a Tuesday evening?
Luckily, I have some idea of the flavors the Missus enjoys....the "suan-tian-ku-la-xian" thing. Plus, I had a surplus of scallions and a ton of garlic on hand during the Christmas weekend and made scallion oil and garlic oil:
1 cup peanut oil
4-6 bunches green onions, green parts cut into 1 - 1 1/2" pieces, white portion roughly chopped.
- Heat wok until smoking
- Add peanut oil. when oil slightly shimmers, add scallions
- Lower heat. Let scallions lightly fry under low heat until the oil turns a greenish-brown, about 20 minutes. Do not burn scallions!
- Strain into a heat proof container
Garlic Oil (more concentrated then usual):1/2 cup peanut oil
3 whole bulbs of garlic, cloves peeled, and sliced thinly lengthwise
- Heat wok until smoking
- Add peanut oil. when oil slightly shimmers, add garlic slices
- Lower heat. Let garlic lightly brown under low heat. Do not burn garlic.
- Strain into a heat proof container. Save can use the fried garlic for other dishes.
I also had some baby bok choy on hand. The rest was pretty simple and the result was this:
The Missus had bought almost two pounds of white sea bass....nice, meaty, and mild. I used half of it, going for the typical Chinese fish marinade....you could almost think of this as the traditional step one - marinating:
2 Tb Shaoxing Wine
2 Tb Grated Ginger
Add ingredients to fish. Gently coat and let sit for 15 minutes.
Right before cooking, I added 2 Tb potato starch to the fish to coat, the traditional step two.
While the fish was marinating, I put together a simple glaze/sauce:
3 Tb Honey
2 Tb Oyster Sauce
3 Tb Premium Soy Sauce
2-3 Tb Chinkiang Black Vinegar
1 Tb Hoisin
I pan fried the fish in a combination scallion/garlic/peanut oil. At the end, I poured half the glaze over the fish and carefully turned to coat.
I poured the rest of the sauce over the baby bok choy....I went for a pretty classic, old-school, Chinese banquet dish presentation. I topped the bok choy with sesame seeds and fried garlic saved from making the garlic oil.
She enjoyed t so much.....I made this again the following week. This time with halibut.
I was feeling pretty happy putting this together on the fly on a weeknight.....but this just meant that the Missus had to come up with another "challenge"........ stay tuned!