This fish is a company-grade dinner that you can serve on a weeknight. There are several steps involved, but they are all simple. Time-wise, this fish will be ready to plate in just about the same time it takes to make the rice.
|The hardest part is slicing the scallions.|
You can toast the sesame seeds yourself, just like, say, pine nuts, but pre-roasted sesame seeds are available at larger supermarkets, oriental markets or (sometimes) wholesale stores. In my neck of the woods, a humongous 8-ounce container costs barely twice as much as those teensy-tiny spice jars containing non-roasted seeds, even at the gourmet market. Totally worth it.
Serve with the easy Hot and Sour Soup from the other day for an almost-restaurant experience. Pass the pistachio ice cream around afterwards.
Chinese-Style Sea Bass
Yield: 4 servings
1/4 cup soy sauce (low-sodium preferred)
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. granulated white sugar
3 thin slices fresh ginger
1 Tbl. vegetable oil
4 sea bass fillets (approx. 1 lb.)
1 (8 oz.) package sliced white mushrooms
1 scallion, green part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal (for garnish)
2 tsp. toasted or roasted sesame seeds (black, white or a combination, for garnish)
cooked rice, enough for your family
In a small saucepan, stir together soy sauce, rice vinegar and white wine; spoon out 1/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Stir sugar and ginger into remaining soy sauce mixture, then heat over medium heat until mixture simmers. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until mixture is reduced to a glaze (about 1/4 cup), watching closely to avoid scorching. Remove saucepan from heat. Discard ginger slices; set saucepan aside and keep warm.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced mushrooms. Saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes or until they reduce and any liquid the mushrooms give off evaporates. Transfer mushrooms to a covered dish; keep warm.
Add oil to "dirty" skillet. When oil is hot, arrange fillets in a single layer in skillet; sear 3-5 minutes or until fish is nicely browned. Carefully flip fillets over and sear about 2 minutes more, or until fillets are browned but not cooked through. Slowly add reserved 1/4 cup soy sauce mixture to saucepan; simmer until fish is cooked through, about 1 minute. Return cooked mushrooms to pan for 30 seconds to reheat.
Divide cooked rice among 4 dinner plates. Place fish on top of rice. Brush fish with glaze. Top with mushrooms; garnish with sesame seeds and sliced scallions, if desired. Serve immediately.