This recipe is a wonderful holiday recipe to showcase some skills in the kitchen. And all three dishes give a really well-rounded presentation for the holidays.
Everyone does ham, turkey, or prime rib — so this is a twist for your protein. You can use sea bass or striped bass, or try your hand at monk fish or salmon. In any case, the fish will be a much lighter selection instead of a heavy beef or poultry protein and give your guests something to enjoy and talk about during the holiday meal.
I like using jasmine rice as well for flavor and consistency if you feel so inclined please switch it up and go with basmati, saffron, long-grain or wild Rice.
Please avoid minute rice or precooked bag rice varieties if at all possible. You need to cook the flavors into the rice and using instant simply leaves a less flavorful presentation.
Above all, enjoy creating and experimenting in the kitchen and remember a recipe is a guideline, once you understand the cooking process you can begin to change the recipe and adapt it to your own.
Sichuan wasabi striped bass
4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger; use a micro planer
1 cup light-soy sauce
2/3 cup sherry
Juice of two lemons
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 or 3 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon wasabi paste
1 pound striped bass filet, cut into 4 portion sizes (see cook's note)
1 cup flour
2 tablespoon blended olive oil
4 tablespoon clarified unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 Thai peppers, diced with seeds (see cook's note)
1/3 cup sake
4 scallions, chopped, for garnish
Make teriyaki glaze first by blending together garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sherry, lemon juice, sugar, honey and wasabi paste. Set aside.
To make fish, rinse and pat dry fish with a paper towel. Dust lightly with flour. Shake off the excess flour to prevent scorching the fish.
In a seasoned skillet, heat olive oil and butter until hot.
Place 2 to 4 filets into the pan, depending upon size, and pan fry until light brown on both sides.
Remove from pan and place on plate and hold in a chafing dish to keep hot.
Add minced garlic, minced ginger, Thai peppers. Cook until garlic begins to brown. Squeeze the juice from lemon and deglaze with cup of sake.
Add 8 tablespoons of the teriyaki glaze, and reduce this until it starts to caramelize.
Serve on a plate with a little of the sauce from the pan spooned over the fish. Top with diced scallions.
Cook's note: Before using teriyaki sauce, stir up from the bottom so as to mix all of the larger bits. You can also use sea bass or striped bass. Thai peppers can be substituted for jalapeno.
Thai chili vegetables
3 tablespoons sesame oil
12 asparagus spears
1 red pepper, cored and sliced
1 cup baby corn
3/4 cup water chestnuts
.3/4 cup baby carrots
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced lemon grass
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh diced Thai chilies
Clean and wash all vegetables under running water.
Trim asparagus spears diagonally into 2 to 3-inch pieces.
Core and clean membrane from red pepper and julienne slice into 2 to 3-inch sections
Drain baby corn and water chestnuts and set aside.
Cut baby carrots on the bias into 1-inch pencil-sized pieces.
Cut lemon grass into 4-inch sections and trim off outer leaf, score the grass horizontally and turn 90 degrees and mince.
Peel and mince 3 cloves of medium-sized garlic, 2 if large.
Remove stems from chilies, and mince including seeds.
In a seasoned skillet, heat sesame oil until hot. Add Thai chilies and sauté for 1 minute to infuse oil.
Add baby carrots into skillet and continue sautéing for two minutes and then add the asparagus, red peppers, baby corn and water chestnuts. Continue to stir vegetables over high heat for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Add minced lemon grass and garlic and toss together in the pan for 1 minute and remove from heat.
Place plastic wrap over pan to keep warm or place into a hot chafer with lid until time of service.
Oriental jasmine rice
2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sweet thai chili sauce
1 cup jasmine rice
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoon red pepper, minced
1/8 teaspoon wasabi paste
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 ounce clarified unsalted butter
2 Thai chilies
1 Styrofoam cup, cut in half
In a seasoned stock pot add sesame oil and rice and stir until rice is shiny and heat through.
To the rice add vegetable stock, red pepper, Wasabi paste and sesame seeds.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. When the water is just below the rice, remove from heat and add clarified butter. Stir, cover and place back on turned off burner until rice has absorbed the liquid.
When ready to serve, take bottom half of foam cup and fill with rice and press rice into bottom.
Invert and place into center of plate. Tap to remove and garnish with Thai chilies across the top.