Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Asian Inspired Fish Dinner

On Friday night I cooked the 8 small fish from our (defrosted) freezer that my husband had caught.

I decided to go Asian flavours for a change, the menu was:

Barbecued Asian Fish Steamed Fish with Ginger and Shallots
Indonesian Braised Eggplant

Chinese Green with Oyster Sauce

Steamed Jasmine Rice

I will be playing around a little with the fish recipes, while the flavours were good, the fish that I used, was what we had. I didn't weight them, so I can't really tell you any cooking times. We just poked at it a bit until we knew that it was ready.

The stand out dish of the night was definitely the bok choy. I could have been at any yum cha restaurant. Yummy. I could happily have eaten the entire plate with a bowl of jasmine rice. I couldn't believe that it had come from own kitchen.

I have such respect for Asian and Chinese cooking, it is something that I find hard to replicate at home. Usually I avoid cooking Chinese at home because we don't have gas. I never can get enough heat into a wok on an electric stove. But now I can cook one of my all time favourite Chinese dishes at home. Simple, quick and easy, no gas required.

At the end of the night I realised a few other reasons why I don't do much Asian cooking. A lot of my attention was needed at the last minute to put the dishes together. This left me frustrated as my little monkeys kept coming into the kitchen showing me drawings and asking me questions. If I'm washing the pots from preparing a casserole or slicing the vegetables to go with dinner, these interruptions usually don't bother me. But when I had a few things going on all at once, very hot and dangerous things I might add, I found myself getting a little fraught.

The other reason - so many dishes! Plates, bowls; small and big, woks, saucepans, Chinese cleavers, paring knifes, the mortar and pestle, the steamer and chopping boards. The sink was over flowing.

But it was nice to step out of my comfort zone. The meal was delicious.

The bok choy (chinese greens) recipe is a mixture of one of Kylie Wong's recipes and one that I found on Taste. I hope you try it soon.

Chinese Greens with Oyster Sauce

serves 6

• 2 bunches chinese greens (bok choy, pak choy, choy sum, chinese broccoli - washed)

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• 1/4 cup oyster sauce
• 1 garlic clove (crushed)

• 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
• 1 teaspoons caster sugar
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil

• 1 tablespoons peanut oil

Remove the stems from bok choy, then cut the bunch in half crossways. Fill a pot with water and bring to the boil. Combine the oyster sauce, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves and set aside. Add the vegetable oil to the boiling water and then the bok choy. Simmer until it is bright green and tender crisp, about 1-3 minutes depending on what vegetable you use. Refresh under cold running water. Drain and transfer to a serving platter. Heat the vegetable oil in small frying pan over high heat for 30 seconds, it needs to reach smoking point. Carefully pour the oil over the bok choy and drizzle over the oyster sauce mixture. Serve immediately.

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Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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