Easy but Elegant Asian-Style White Fish

16 Aug

It was my mom’s birthday earlier this week and I wanted to treat her to a nicer-than-usual dinner.  Sifting through my cookbooks, I came across a simple yet sophisticated fish recipe that I’ve made once before.  Mushrooms are sauteed until all of their moisture is lost and then tossed in a salty yet sweet Asian-inspired sauce.  Next, a firm white fish of your choice is topped with the mushroom mixture, then baked in the oven for just over ten minutes.  Easy peasy, right?

To class up the meal just a bit more, I decided to forgo the usual plain brown rice for a coconut rice dish from the Looneyspoons Collection cookbook.  Good ole Janet and Greta… again, providing me with much-needed inspiration!  Admittedly, I was slightly disappointed with the rice despite it being a nice addition to the meal.  The coconut flavour was too subtle; however, the ginger shone through and saved the day.  Next time I’d omit the salt and try it with the lemon zest (the fridge was void of lemons).

Do you have any easy, pseudo-gourmet meals worth sharing?  I’m always looking for new recipes to add to the pile, especially ones that trick my guests into thinking I’m a great chef!

Tilapia hiding under a mound of mushrooms

 

White Fish with Black Bean Sauce and Oyster Mushrooms
(from Rose Reisman’s Family Favorites cookbook)

Black bean sauce is a Chinese sauce made from fermented soy beans and wheat flour.  It’s very high in sodium (like many Asian sauces), so use it in moderation.

1-1/2 lbs (675 g) firm white fish (e.g. tilapia or pickerel)
1 tsp vegetable oil
4 cups sliced oyster mushrooms (feel free to substitute any kind of mushroom)

Sauce:
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce (or ketchup)
2 tbsp black bean sauce
3 tbsp water
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp minced garlic

Garnish (optional):  3 tbsp chopped green onions, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray or oil.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and saute for 8 minutes or until the mushrooms are no longer wet, stirring often.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  When the mushrooms are finished cooking, add the sauce to the mushrooms and saute for one more minute.
  4. Place the fish on the prepared baking sheet and divide the mushroom mixture evenly between the fillets.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the fish just starts to flake.
  5. Garnish with the green onions and cilantro, and serve.

Makes 6 servings.  Per serving: 203 kcal, 10 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 0.7 g fibre, 23 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 268 mg sodium

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Twice as Nice Coconut Rice
(from The Looneyspoons Collection)

Click here for tips on what to look for when choosing a coconut milk

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp grated gingerroot
1-1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
3/4 cup light coconut milk
2-1/4 cups water
1 tsp honey
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt

  1. In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and gingerroot and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.  Add rice and cook for one more minute.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  (Exact cooking time depends on brand of rice.  Check instructions on the package as some brown rice takes up to 45 minutes to cook).
  3. Fluff rice with a fork and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.  Per serving: 208 kcal, 4.6 g fat (3.1 g saturated fat), 4 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 1.7 g fibre, 4 g protein, 203 mg sodium.

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