It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here
Summer is in full swing and it is HOT out there! Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen? I actually don’t mind cooking in the summer. I love the change of seasons and continually having new inspiration for food. I love fish in the summer. It’s light and flakey and there are 100’s of ways to cook it or not cook it! In the summer brings our fish truck! I know I have mentioned this before but I just love it. Every Wednesday they drive down here with some of the freshest fish imaginable. For us being land locked in Vermont it is truly a wonderful thing. And their prices! Oh so reasonable; sashimi grade Tuna for $7 lb! Anyway I am running off on a tangent but I do so love the fish truck….
So a Wednesday not too far off in the distant past I meandered my way up to the fish truck to see what they had. With their usual tuna, scallops, lobster they had on sale some very nice scrod. I was feeding company and scrod is such a light, mild fish it would be a perfect summer dinner. Wednesday just also happens to be a farmers market day so I had already picked up some fresh produce; long scallions (like 18” or more!) and some lovely baby bok choy among other wonderful things. As soon as I got home I began planning dinner.
It was a very hot day so I really didn’t want anything heavy like fried so I settled on steaming. Scrod is a perfect fish for steaming; it is a nice firm white fish that is very forgiving; it is really hard to overcook. I began looking for ideas and found this recipe on Epicurious that was my inspiration. Steaming on plates is in my opinion is kind of a pain so I chose to steam in foil packets instead. Plus I put them together a little ahead of time so I could relax with my guests enjoy a glass of wine.
Any white fish, scrod, cod, sole all work beautifully about 1/2lb per person
1 bunch scallions, greens only julienned in 2 inch long strips
1 inch knob ginger julienned in long thin strips
equal parts soy sauce and rice wine or sake (depending on how much fish you have)
a good pinch of five spice powder (use to taste, it can be a strong flavor I used about 1/4-1/2 teas. for 4 cuts of fish)
1-2 T. sugar (1 tablespoon per cup of liquid)
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
sprinkle of sesame seeds
(I know my measurements are well, nonexistent but trust me it is really hard to screw up!)
Place julienned scallions in an ice water bath and put aside. Then mix together the rice wine, soy sauce and sugar in a sauce pan on medium heat (or you can do this in the microwave) heat until the sugar has dissolved and set aside to cool completely! Once cooled add the five spice powder and whisk to combined. Arrange your fish on individual aluminum foil pieces about 1’x1’ (give or take). Fold up the side and drizzle a couple tablespoons of the liquid over the fish (making sure to reserve enough for plating) and top with a generous portion of ginger. Seal up the packets and place in the refrigerator until ready. You can do this up to 30 minutes prior. I would not go too much further than that due to the acid in the wine. Once ready to cook place in a 350⁰ pre-heated oven in the middle rack and steam for 5-10 minutes. When ready to serve, plate atop stir fried bok choy with a mound of the scallions on top. Drizzle remaining liquid around the plate and a few drops of sesame oil. Top with a scattering of sesame seeds. You can also serve with some steamed rice on the side.
For the bok choy I just stir fried it very quickly in an extremely hot pan with a small amount of oil. I flipped it several times just to show off! You can add a liquid if you liquid if you like to help the cooking process with a little bit of steam.
That’s it! A quick, easy summer dish that is pretty enough and impressive enough for company. In the future, when making this again, and I will be making this again, I think I will add some chili pepper to spice it up. Though, it really was extremely flavorful as is.