All it takes is deciding to explore a new cuisine or unfamiliar cooking technique. Or perhaps just going to the market and choosing an ingredient that isn't your usual chicken. In this day and age of the Internet you can always get a quick YouTube tutorial even on something that is completely foreign to you or something that you think is beyond your cooking ability.
To get out of my comfort zone I decide tackle an Asian-style steamed fish.
|Ginger & Scallion Steamed Turbot with Forbidden Rice, Sauteed Shimeji & Shiitake Mushrooms and Seared Baby Bok Choy|
To further take me out of my familiar cooking place I choose a fish that I haven't worked with, Turbot. A cousin to Halibut, Turbot has a mild, delicate flesh and is a good choice for steaming.
The balance of my plate will be Forbidden rice, baby bok choy, sauteed Shimeji and Shiitake mushrooms.
Forbidden rice cooks up just like regular rice and has a lovely, nutty taste and terrific chewy texture. I know the black color will also look great in contrast to the white fish.
The bok choy is easy to prepare: I cut the bok choy in half and wash them very well. After drying I season with salt & pepper then drizzle with oil. I sear them in a hot pan and then give them a squeeze of lemon. They still have a lot of crunch that is a nice contrast to the fish.
|Bok choy cut in half, seasoned and then drizzled with oil|
|Searing bok choy in hot pan|
|Caramelized bok choy|
With shiitakes sliced and the shimejis seperated, I saute and with garlic, shallots and sesame oil.
|Shiitake & Shimeji Mushrooms|
|Sauteed mushrooms with sesame oil, garlic & shallots|
I decide to go with a Chinese-style steamed fish that is steamed with julienne ginger and scallions. After the fish steams you spoon hot oil over it and then drizzle with soy and sesame oil. I add garlic & shallot to the hot oil. For the soy mixture I add Sambal chili paste, rice wine vinegar, sugar and Vietnamese fish sauce.
I portion the fish into 6 oz portions, I season them well with salt and top them with scallions & ginger. I use a bamboo steamer over a wok to steam the fish.
|Portioned Turbot with julienne scallions & ginger|
|Turbot ready for steaming|
|Garlic & shallot hot oil|
|Just steamed Turbot with hot garlic & shallot oiil spooned over.|
This is a dish that comes together very easily and has lots of great flavor
|Turbot with soy mixture spooned over and scallions|
|Chinese-style Steamed Turbot|
So that was my cooking adventure. I had so much fun trying something new and am glad to add this dish to my repertoire. Please try cooking something new this weekend and let me how it turns out. Don't be afraid and have fun!
I think Julia Childs said it best: