Friday, July 29, 2005

fishy dishes

if i could i'd eat fish and shellfish most of the time. *sigh* i keep trying to convince the kids there's more to fish eating than fried filleted unrecognizable seafood.
i put the recent fish dishes together in this post so it wouldn't seem too hodge podge. or is it too late? :)

another go at the gravlax recipe from my Swedish Finn friend, cathi.
only daughter tried it, at least. i thought it was great, and satisfied the craving brought on by the trip to Ikea New Haven.

Cantonese steamed fish
this is one of the whole fish, head and tail intact recipes they agree to try.

i zeroed in on the freshest fish (there was no English word though) displayed on ice at the Asian grocers, and immediately thought of steaming it, just like mother-in-law's dish. i dug out the voluminous "the food of China" for authenticity.

marinate cleaned, scaled, gutted whole fish in 2 tbsps. rice wine, 1 & 1/2 tsps. light soy sauce, and 1 tbsp. of finely chopped ginger for 10 minutes.
prepare 3 tbsps. finely shredded scallions, 2 tbsps. finely shredded ginger.

steam fish, along with its marinade, in a large wok or dutch oven with a tightly fitting lid, over simmering water, about 15 minutes (depends on the size of the fish. check for doneness by pricking with a fork--flesh should easily flake). lift fish out of platter onto serving plate and let rest.

heat 2 tbsps. vegetable oil to smoking hot. arrange shredded scallions and ginger over fish, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, and pour the heated oil all over the top.

stuffed roasted bangus (inihaw na bangus)

there's nothing like the bangus belly. it cooks up so sweet and luscious, whether smoked, in sinigang (sour stew), or marinated and fried (daing). my sister and i used to race to the table when our cook or mother made roasted stuffed milkfish. when she was out on study groups or with her barkada(posse/entourage?)...guess who won? *smirk*

i figured out the way to keep the belly whole : ask the fishmonger just to scale the milkfish. cut all along the backbone and proceed to cleaning (remove the gills and innards carefully to keep the belly intact). rinse well and salt thoroughly.
chop red onions and tomatoes (amount depends on the size of the fish) and season with salt and pepper. add bruised lemon balm leaves or cilantro or dill (optional).
stuff the belly and wrap with banana leaves or foil. if using leaves, tie all around with kitchen twine. roast over the charcoal grill or in a 425F preheated oven, or under a broiler, turning once, for a total of 20 to 25 minutes or until flesh easily flakes with a fork.

wrapped in banana leaves

serve with your favorite dip (mine--and my ate's--is vinegar, garlic, bird chili, salt and pepper.
others use soy sauce and calamansi/lemon).