Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ginger Catfish with Sticky White Rice

Right. Ian and I cooked perhaps our best meal ever this evening. Ten kinds of yum, we should open our own restaurant. I made a simple veggie stir fry on the side as the catfish to give us some leftovers and.... our vegetables for the meal. While this was by no means our healthiest dinner, sometimes you've got to just splurge a little. 

Ginger Catfish
Adapted from Epicurious.com

We found mushroom soy sauce at our local asian grocery. You can use regular soy sauce, if you have it, but now I would strongly suggest investing in a bottle of mushroom soy sauce, it adds a whole new depth to the meal. 

   5 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
   2 cups peeled, julienned ginger (about 1/2 pound) or 1 cup chopped bottled ginger, drained and pressed
   1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
   3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
   2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
   2 tablespoons fish sauce
   1 teaspoon salt
   1 onion, thinly sliced
   1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
   4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is smoking. Add the ginger and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring infrequently, until the ginger is crispy and starts to brown nicely. 
While the ginger is cooking, mix together the sugar, mushroom soy sauce, fish sauce, and salt. Set aside.
Add the onion and stir-fry, 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the catfish, mixing well in the oil, ginger, and onion. Cook, keeping heat at medium-high, for 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and the red pepper to the skillet, tossing the fish and vegetables to coat evenly in the sauce. Stir fry for 3-4 more minutes, until the red peppers are crisp-tender and the fish is cooked through. Remove from heat and to with scallions.

Serve immediately over rice.

The Perfect Rice
 Perfected after much trial and error! This rice is great for stir-fries as it is nice and sticky. Leftovers used within a day or so make great fried rice

   2 cups rice, jasmine preferred although any white long-grain will do
   3 cups water
   1/2 tsp kosher salt

Mix the rice, water, and salt into a pot. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, until the water level is just at or below the rice and the water is bubbling through the rice. 

Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 14-16 more minutes.

Quick Veggie Stir Fry
For the hottie in a hurry. You could really throw any veggies in here, this was a nice combination that I made this evening.

   1 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
   1-2 long, Asian eggplants, sliced down the center lengthwise and cut 1-inch slices on the diagonal.
   8 oz mushrooms, oyster or shiitake if you can, otherwise baby portabellas will work fine
   1 red pepper, julienned
   1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
   2 Tbsp. mushroom soy sauce
   2 Tbsp. aji-mirin (sweet rice cooking sauce)
   1/3 cup water
   dash of pepper

Mix oyster sauce, mushroom soy sauce, aji-mirin, and water in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil is smoking, add the eggplant. Cook the eggplant for  a minutes or so before tossing, letting it brown. Cook for 1-2 more minutes more, tossing occasionally. Add the red pepper, also giving it a little time to brown. Cook for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms. Stir-fry vegetables for about 5 minutes more. Once vegetables are pleasantly browned, add sauce, stirring so that vegetables are coated evenly. Cook for a few more minutes until sauce has thickened and dash with pepper. Serve immediately over rice.