Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Daring Cooks' March 2012 - Braised Sea Bass in Chilli and Garlic Sauce

Braised Sea Bass in Chilli and Garlic Sauce

The March, 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, a/k/a Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of Braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.

Braising is a cooking technique which incorporates two methods of cooking; the first step normally involves a method which ‘seals’ the flavour of the produce used. The second step incorporates the use of a sauce/liquid in which the produce is further cooked in.

Some of the colourful and healthy ingredients; chillies, ginger, spring onions and garlic.

Braising meat is a familiar technique for most cooks and something which I have done a number of times. So in the spirit of being a Daring Cook I wanted to try something slightly different ie. seafood, and possibly Asian inspired seeing that lots of Chinese dishes incorporate the braising technique. Looking through my recipe books and recipes online, I found that braising recipes mainly  focused on meats and to an extent, vegetables. 

Fresh and incredibly affordable sea bass straight from the wet market!

I finally came across a Szechuan inspired recipe called Braised Fish with Chilli and Garlic Sauce and I knew that this was to be my challenge recipe for this month!

This recipe took all of 30 minutes to prepare and cook. The fish turned out to be wonderfully flavourful  and fresh and light and was absolutely delicious paired with a plate of steaming rice! Although the photos indicate a lot of chilli has been added to this dish, the final dish was not overly spicy. It had a lovely heat which came  through but not spicy enough to cause you to break out in a sweat.

 The step by step process of creating this dish

If you intend on making this dish, and you're not a fan of chillies, simply omit the fresh chillies :)

Needless to say this was a wonderful dish which has been added to the recipe book and one which I will continue to make time and time again!

Braised Sea Bass in Chilli and Garlic Sauce

Serves 4 


Ingredients

1 sea bass/bream/trout/grouper etc, gutted
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar/ dry sherry
Vegetable oil, for deep frying

Sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, finely sliced
2-3 stalks of spring onions, chopped. Separate the white and green parts.
2 tbsp chilli bean sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2-3 drops of sesame oil
½ cup chicken/fish/vegetable stock
1 tbsp cornflour + 2 tsp water, (optional)

Method
  1. Rinse and dry fish. Score both sides with a sharp knife to the bone.
  2. Rub both sides of fish with light soy sauce and rice vinegar/dry sherry. Leave to marinade for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, mix the chilli bean sauce, tomato puree, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and stock to create a sauce. 
  4. Heat sufficient oil for deep frying in a wok or a large pan. Fry fish for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from heat.
  5. In a new pan, heat one tablespoon of oil and add the garlic, ginger, white spring onions and chilli. Fry for 30 seconds and add the sauce. When the sauce starts to boil, place the fish back in the pan. Add half of the green spring onions and leave to simmer until sauce starts to thicken, about 4 minutes. If needed, add the cornflour paste to thicken the sauce.
  6. Garnish the fish with remaining green spring onions. Best served with rice.

25 comments:

  1. Your sea bass sounds and looks so delicious I love the Asian sauce that goes with the fish. The photos of the process are very informative. Great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  2. Really amazing that you used fish. The flavor profile sounds delicious, and the final dish looks gorgeous!

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  3. I don't really like fish, but it looks and sounds wonderful. Great job.

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    1. Thank you :) And how can you not like fish!! :p

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  4. That looks riDICulously good. I haven't bought Rulman's book yet--what do you think? Is it worth it?

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    1. Thanks hun :) I haven't actually got Rulhman's book but it seems like it's one of those 'must have' cook books!

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  5. Great presentation, and the flavors sound fabulous! This might be the recipe that inspires me to cook a whole fish!

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    1. Thanks :) I hope you do so - I always find it very exciting but not exactly sure why lol

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  6. I need a wok so I can try this ASAP. I sadly don't have any pans large enough in my kitchen :-(

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    1. Perhaps you could use fillets instead? I'm sure it will taste just as delicious :)

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  8. good recipe with fish, but I would try with fillets as I do not like fish with bones :)

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  9. it looks so good Nish! malaysian cuisine is always one my favorite...love the color of fresh ingredients and turmeric on food especially seafoods.

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  10. Oh this looks so so good! Love the flavors. Absolutely must try.

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  11. Yum, yum and more yum. My kind of spicy food and can go with another plate of rice.

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  12. I love fish and am always looking for new ways to prepare it, I can't wait to try this recipe!!!! YUMMY

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  13. Wow this looks amazing! What a clever idea to use fish for the challenge - you're the only one I've seen do this so far! By the way, adorable fish dish, so appropriate for the post! :) This sounds incredible with the chilli garlic sauce - all about that, could probably even drink it on it's own! Sounds delicious!

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  14. Yum - a lovely way to cook fish!

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  15. Your sea bass looks fantastic! I'd have never though to try it braised, I will have to keep your recipe in mind for future use!

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  16. Well done! What a fantastic recipe and you truly are a Daring Cook :)

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  17. Ooooh... I LOVE sea bass! Looks delicious!

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  18. Gorgeous Sea-bass this is!I'm lost when it comes to cooking sea-bass, but this is something I'm going to try next time!Thanks for a lovely recipe :)

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