As a pescatarian (a “semi” vegetarian who consumes fish), I’m always looking for new ways to prepare my fish. I have it at least once a week, if not two or three times, so I need lots of variety. Fruity, garlic-y, lemony, spicy, bring it on!
Seasoning experimentation can be tricky with seafood. Dill with salmon, yes! Wasabi with tuna, more please! Lime on fish tacos, uh-huh! But have you ever mismatched seafood flavors with a pesto, tomato, cream or mole sauce? I’m not saying its impossible, but you really have to be careful with the type of fish and the mingling of certain ingredients.
The following is a nice cod dish with a kick of spice. It almost has a Thai flavor to it. The vinegar gives it a little extra oomph too. You can play with the thickness of the sauce. If you want to reduce it down to a thick paste to top off the fish, add more cornstarch. If you prefer a brothy, light soup to serve it in, skip the cornstarch altogether.
Recipe: Spicy Cod in Chili Sauce
1 1/2 pounds cod (can substitute halibut or any other solid white fish)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs chili sauce (I use Sriracha) **you can reduce or omit this if you aren’t a fan of the heat
1/4 C cornstarch (or flour)
1 tsp garlic pepper (or a salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixture)
2 Tbs oil (canola, vegetable, or olive)
1/2 small onion or 2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp grated ginger root (or chopped pickled ginger)
2 small hot chilis (or 1 jalapeno), seeded and finely minced **again, be careful and reduce the amount if needed. only use the amount you can handle!
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
In a small bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili sauce. Stir in about 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch.
Place remaining cornstarch in a shallow dish and mix in garlic pepper. Dip fish into mixture and lightly coat each piece.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add fish and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, but not until cooked through. Remove fish from oil and place on a platter.
Using the same skillet and oil, add the onion, ginger, chili peppers, and garlic. Cook for about a minute. Stir in the broth mixture and bring to a light boil so it starts to thicken.
Return the fish to the skillet and spoon the sauce over it. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the fish flakes with a fork. Serve the fish with the remaining sauce over it.
This dish is nice served over brown rice or with a big hunk of crusty bread. If you want it more saucy/soupy, just double the broth. Enjoy!