Sunday, 25 March 2012

Claypot Fish (or saucepan fish)

Delicious & virtuous = winner
'We eat too much meat.' I said to the Boyfriend. 'We need to have a few veggie nights.' The tantrum that ensued gave me second thoughts, mostly in the shape of fishy ideas. I have been meaning to cook Claypot Fish for about three and a half years. It has very few ingredients, is quick and straight-forward and promised some very exciting flavour contrasts thanks to the sugar, lime and my bit on the side, fish sauce. The recipe which I based this on suggests halibut, but I couldn't get any and used (sustainably sourced of course), cod. It would work with any firm white fish, what you don't want is something you overcook which ends up flaking all over the place.

Caramelly garlic and ginger 
Feeds two. Take a smallish casserole dish/claypot/saucepan and sprinkle in 1tbsp caster sugar and 1tbsp water. Dissolve the sugar over a gentle heat, then turn it up and bubble away until the colour goes dark and you get an unmistakable wiff of caramel (this took ages for me but I think I was being a wuss with the temperature for fear that I was going to burn it). As soon as this happens add 1 tsp groundnut oil, a finely chopped garlic clove, a chopped chilli and a tbsp of finely shredded ginger. Stir for a minute, then turn the heat down, add 100ml hot water, 2 tbsp fish sauce and two fish fillets. Season well and turn to coat in the sauce. Let it cook for a few more minutes, then turn the fish, carefully, pop the lid on and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove the lid and let it bubble for a minute, reducing a little, and carefully lift out the fish, serve on rice (cue massive brown v white rice argument with the Boyfriend, I love brown and don't see why he's such  a baby about it), sprinkle with chopped spring onions, something green and steamed, and a wedge of lime. Pour over the sauce and marvel at how something with so few ingredients can taste so damn sexy.

Permission to lick the plate? Granted.

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