Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Caramel Fish in Claypot

Copyright 2007 by Cooking With The Single Guy

1 white fish such as halibut or catfish cut crosswise as a steak (about 5 to 6 oz.)
1 t shallots, finely chopped
1 t spring onions, finely chopped
1 t chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1-1/2 T fish sauce
1 t chicken powder * (optional)
4 T sugar
½ t ground pepper
juice from one lime
2 T cooking oil
sprig of cilantro for garnish

* Look for chicken broth in powder form instead of boullions.

Start by making the caramel syrup. In a small stainless steel saucepan (do not use a non-stick pan), melt 3 tablespoon of sugar over high heat. Stir to make sure it doesn’t burn. The sugar will melt and turn to an amber brown liquid before turning to almost a reddish coffee brown color. This is when you take it off the heat. Add a tablespoon of hot water. Sugar will bubble briefly and may splatter. Place pot back on burner if you need to melt any sugar that hardened. Set aside to let cool.

In claypot, marinate your fish with shallots, spring onions, chilies, fish sauce, chicken powder, pepper, and a tablespoon of sugar. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. (Don’t place in refrigerator because you don’t want your claypot to get cold and then shocked by the heat when you start cooking.)

When you’re ready to cook your fish, place your claypot on your burner and slowly bring it to a medium heat. Add your caramel sauce to cook with the fish. After about 2 minutes, flip your fish to cook the other side. Add a squeeze of lime juice. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fish steak) until the sauce reduces to a slightly thick consistency. Garnish with cilantro (or chopped spring onions).

Makes one serving. Serve with steamed rice and sauteed vegetables such as asparagus or snow peas.

Pair with a glass of Riesling.

TIP: It makes a nicer presentation if you remove the bones and skin of the fish before serving. The fish will be so flakey from the cooking that you can easily just remove the skin and main piece of bone with a fork. Then just coat the fish pieces with some of the sauce and serve it straight in the claypot.

THE WONDERS OF THE CLAYPOT: I’ve found the claypot such a beautiful instrument in the kitchen but quite tempermental. So to make sure it doesn’t crack from the heat when cooking, soak it for a few hours the night before you use it. Also, don’t expose it to extreme heat such as if it’s a cold day and you place it directly on a high heat. Gradually warm your claypot and never cook with the heat on high. It is not a wok.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chef Ben, I was looking online for claypot recipes (it's kinda chilly and hot food sounds good) and just saw this recipe. Sounds delicious, Mr K might even like it!