Sunday, November 1, 2009

Asian Steamed Halibut

Today there's no story. It's more of a cautionary tale.

For the most part I only share the successes here on CrabbyC, but sometimes a recipe results in something so horrendously bad that I have to pass it along. Yesterday SSSal came home from the store with a piece of Halibut. She declared that it looked good and she felt some sort of light-steamed-Asian thing was in order. Being an obliging Crab, I set about trying to find an appropriate recipe.

One of the first things you learn when trolling the internet for recipes is that there is basically only a handful of each type of recipe and then everything else becomes a variation on those themes. Steaming fish was no different. You flavor some water or stock with a few aromatics, add some soy sauce and vegetables, bring it to a boil, add the fish and cover. How hard can it be? You're steaming a fish for goodness sake.

I should have known better when the recipe I chose was from a site called No, I didn't get the recipe from epicurious or I should have realized there would be a problem when the article just below the fish recipe was entitled, "Marriage - Do women ask too much?". But I plowed on anyway, I mean we're just steaming fish right?

The result was perhaps the worse meal I have ever prepared. The fish was bland and tasteless (I know, you steamed it you twit, what did you expect?). The real killer was that the vegetables were bitter and sour, as though I'd added a gallon or two of vinegar. But here's the catch, I didn't use any vinegar. Two bites and I was up and looking for the leftover meatloaf. SSSal and the Boonsta didn't think it was that bad, but they weren't exactly setting off fireworks over it either. I don't know, maybe it's a chick thing or something.

So here's your opportunity. Look at the recipe. Prepare it at your own risk. But if you do make it, tell me what's wrong with it. On the surface of it, I can't figure out why this meal crashed and burned, but maybe you folks can. Even though it's impossible, try and enjoy...

Asian Steamed Halibut

4 4 - 6 ounce halibut filets
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup mirin rice wine
1 TBSP soy sauce
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 inch square of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
5 scallions, chopped into 1 inch sections
2 baby bok choy, halved vertically
1 Portobello mushroom cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 ripe red bell pepper, cut into thin slices

Add the stock, mirin, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic and ginger to a large saute pan and bring to a boil.

When boiling, layer the bok choy, mushrooms, scallions and pepper in the broth. Place the fish filets atop the vegetables and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to medium high and simmer until the fish is done (fish should pull apart easily with a fork but still look moist). I suggest starting to check for doneness after 7 minutes.

Using a deep plate or bowl serve the fish atop the vegetables with a ladle of broth, sprinkling a few sesame seeds on top for presentation. Addtionally you can serve the meal over a scoop of rice.

OK. Now some of you didn't read the first part of the post and you're going to be complaining to me about how horrible this meal tastes, well that'll teach you not to skip ahead. Hopefully next time I'll share something edible, until then, remember, you can do it you can cook.


Anonymous said...

Apt time to talk about bad wine.

You know you have a bad wine when both the cork and the wine itself smell like fermented jock strap. Ok, how about a moldy mildewy basement. You take it back to the store, or send it back to the kitchen, they smell or taste it and quickly and gladly find you another. One bad cork on one bottle is not a guarrantee that the next bottle out of the same batch will be bad or good.

That's the easy one.

Another thing that lurks in a cork gives you no bad aromas or flavors, rather, it strips all the fruit flavor out of the wine and you are left with a wicked dry, sinewy yucky tasting wine. You can't tell by the cork, you can't tell by the smell. But the taste, blech. This is the cork taint that upsets the winemakers cuz most people dont send this back, they just hate the wine. Also most restaurants and stores are reluctant to credit you for such a bottle cuz they cant taste the mold. So no one wins.

God Bless Screwcaps!

Wine Wizard Bob

WineWizardBob said...


From The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry via the Economist via email from a friend.

It is not the tannin in red wine that makes it taste yucky with seafood. It is IRON content. Unfortunately, iron content is not related to grape variety nor country of origin, but rather how much iron came from the soil into the wine.

I am guessing that red soils have higher iron content and that red wines from these areas would taste the most yucky with seafood.

Only a guess right now, will do some experimenting with those tiny morsels of yumminess, cape scallops.