Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hong Kong Snapper

When I was on my honeymoon, staying on Kauai, Gramercy Guy and I were very lucky to be able to take a cooking class with Colin Hazama, then the Chef De Cuisine at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Kauai Grill. We learned to make some really delicious things. One of them was Hong Kong Snapper. As the story goes, when Chef Hazama was interviewing for the Kauai Grill job, he had to cook one dish from Jean-Georges menu and one of his own, which was the snapper. Chef Hazama got the job and became the youngest Chef De Cuisine under Jean-Georges. 

Since coming home from our honeymoon, I’ve made this dish many times. It’s quick, healthy and super flavorful. It’s also a great dish to cook, if you want to impress guests.

Hong Kong Snapper
2 pieces of snapper (Pink or Red), skin on. If your fish monger doesn’t have snapper, you can use sole
2 whole baby bok choy (quartered or halved)
1 tablespoon white part of scallion julienne
1 pack of enoki mushrooms julienne
4 oz shitake mushrooms julienne
1 tablespoon fresh ginger julienne
Note on the mushrooms: some of these mushrooms are hard to find so just pick a few types mushrooms that you like. The recipe also calls for the mushrooms to be julienne, I prefer to keep the whole so they retain some of their meatiness (and it saves chopping time)
  1. Salt and pepper the fish
  2. Assemble a pot with a steamer and water on the bottom
  3. In the steamer basket, first add the bok choy, then the mushrooms, then the fish (skin side down), then the ginger and scallions
  4. Put a lid on the pot and steam until the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes for thin fillets and 12-15 minutes for thicker pieces
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1 piece of Thai chili (minced). I use ¼ teaspoon of Sriracha sauce (aka rooster sauce)
1 tablespoon minced ginger
½ tablespoon minced garlic (I just use 1 clove through a press)
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of sake (get a good bottle and enjoy the rest with dinner)
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
  1. Combine all ingredients except the oils in a small pot
  2. Heat to just before boil then turn off
  3. Put the oils in a small fry pan and heat until it begins to smoke
To serve, put the fish and vegetables on a plate and pour some of the oil on the fish (I use a a few teaspoons) then take the sauce and pour it on until it’s at the coating that you like. 
This goes really well with a rice noodle or jasmine rice. I usually go heavy on the mushrooms and don’t serve a carb. I also pair with the unused Sake.

There will be sauce left over, I save mine for a few days, it makes a good dipping sauce for dumpling or add a little oil and turn it into a salad dressing. 


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