Monday, May 17, 2010

Lemongrass Steamed Fish

Over on the other blog I write for I've been blathering about how much I love Asian markets and all the crazy ingredients that are to be found there.  Last week I wrote about all the crazy things I bought on my last trip through the Asian groceries of Madison and today I posted a delicious and easy soup recipe that I used to combine all the things I bought.   Now Tom Yum Kung soup is one of my favorite things to make. It seems complicated but it comes together super easily.

The only problem with a recipe like that and all the specialty ingredients is you are inevitably stuck with left over bits of things you have no idea what to do with.  Like lemongrass tends to come in big bunches but each recipe only calls for one stalk, so what to do with the rest?  Or you managed to track down lime leaves and galangal and they were kind of expensive so you don't want the rest to just rot, now what?

Steamed fish is the perfect solution.  Gather all the left over bits of Asian oddities and pile them on fish, wrap them up in parchment and you have an easy but creative dish that will save those stalks of lemongrass from going to waste.  It isn't pretty but it's very tasty and with just enough spice to be exciting.

Lemon Grass Steamed Fish

2 fillets of swordfish or other meaty fish
2 dried red chili peppers, chopped
2 limes, zested
4 thin slices of galangal (or ginger)
2 stalked lemon grass, bashed up with the edge of a knife and cut into 2 inch lengths
1/2 cup sake or white wine
2 dashes of fish sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut two pieces of parchment paper a bit larger than your pieces of fish.  Pat dry each fish fillet and season with salt and pepper on both sides before putting each piece of fish on a square of parchment.  

Sprinkle the top of each piece of fish with chili pepper, lime zest, galangal and lemongrass.  Now comes the interesting part.  Using string or staples gather together the parchment so that the fish is wrapped up like a present with just a small opening at the top of the packet.  When the fish is secured in the parchment, carefully pour 1/4 cup of sake into each wrapped up piece of fish.  Then drizzle in just a little bit of fish sauce to each fish packet.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a knife stuck into the fish meets little resistance.  Be careful unwrapping the fish so that you don't get burnt by the steam.  

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