Monday, January 01, 2007

Getting Steamy in the Kitchen

I am back after a long absence - whew! There were the holidays of course and a new job before that. I have been cooking all along, but not from the "Asian" cookbook. It's time to get back into the fish sauce and garlic. In November, I made "Steamed Fish and Green Onions with Ginger" from page 58. My mouth still waters when I remember this meal. We splurged on the fish; halibut for $15.99 a pound - oh, but it was worth it. To me, halibut tastes buttery, yet clean, almost crisp. It has a refreshing quality to it that makes me feel a little healthier for eating it. The ginger and green onion flavors in the sauce add to that satisfying, yet healthy experience. This kind of meal is great after a few nights of heavy eats. In the past, Jack and I have made a tofu udon noodle dish with ginger, garlic and green tea leaves used like a spice when we feel like we need a "cleansing". I can add this recipe to that category.
I had a certain challenge as I prepared this meal. The fish is mean to to be steamed in a bamboo steamer. I have admired bamboo steamers from afar. I used to eat dim sum at Pike's Market on my lunch break when I worked downtown. The vendor had large bamboo steamers for the steamed meat-filled dumplings and buns. My Christmas list and time constraints did not allow me to buy one before making this meal. Our limited storage in the kitchen makes me hesitate as well. Anyway, I had to come up with a makeshift version of the traditional steamer. I filled my stir-fry pan with a bit of water and placed a metal steamer in the pan. The fish is instructed to be placed on top of a bed of green onions on a plate. The bed of green onions was simple, but what a way to add flavor! I placed the plate on the metal steamer and covered the setup with a frying pan. I believe this will be the closest to mechanical engineering that I will ever get.

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