Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Soy-simmered fish

Yesterday I decided to try a recipe I've had my eye on for a while, Mark Bittman's "Fish Simmered in Spicy Soy Sauce" (from The Minimalist Cooks Dinner). The simmering solution I came up with was one-third of a cup of Chinese light soy sauce, two-thirds of a cup of water, seven scallions sliced into two-inch lengths, one dried chili and two teaspoons of sugar. Bittman advises the cook to vary the proportions of soy sauce and water based on how salty the soy sauce is. Since Chinese light soy is very salty, I added more water.

Once the solution was boiling, I added a flounder fillet that had not completely thawed out from its sojourn in the freezer. It was a little long for the big skillet, and rigid while it remained partly frozen. As a result, turning the fish over to cook both sides was an adventure; I have to say that it was a miracle more of the simmering liquid didn't end up all over the stovetop and the floor. I cooked the fish until it was done, and flaked beautifully when a fork was applied.

In a theme that has been evident in my recent cooking attempts, the fish was tasty but too salty for my taste. The next time I try this, I'll use a different type of soy sauce and probably taste the simmering solution just to make sure. The dried chili did not add any detectable heat to the sauce, so next time I'll probably add some hot bean paste or hot chili paste to the sauce. The scallions turned out bitter, for the most part, so I think I'll substitute shallots next time. Finally, some chopped ginger would be a great addition to this dish.

No comments: