Eating Fish

January 18, 2010

Since I’ve been back from Cape Town, I have been craving chips (french fries or potato wedges) which I had quite a lot of when I was visiting South Africa. The South Africans love their fried potatoes so much they even have a sandwich composed of white bread, a very thick layer of chips and ketchup. I had a portion of one of these sandwiches at Maryam’s Kitchen, downtown Capetown, and delicious as it was, I didn’t need to eat for hours since it sat very solidly in the bottom of my tummy the rest of the afternoon. Thankfully, I’ve returned to Brooklyn to brimming sackfuls of potatoes from my CSA share, and have thus far made myself fried chips and eggs for breakfast two times in four days…

I ate a lot of very tasty fish while I was in Cape Town, including the prerequisite trip to Kaulky’s in Kaulk Bay for freshly caught fried fish and chips at the water front. While in Kaulk Bay, I had this lovely plate of preserved sardines and lemons at the Klipkantein for breakfast one morning with a good cup of rooibus tea. I’d say we all need to eat more fish for breakfast in general.

I resisted cooking too much in Cape Town (after the cooking extravaganza in London over Christmas), but we bought a fabulous bit of yellowtail tuna which I broiled with leeks for our dinner one night. My sister in law made a delicious salad to go with the fish (black sesame seeds, salad greens, red peppers, strawberries, chick pea sprouts, wasabi… I have to beg her for the recipe) and a steaming potful of sticky rice.

Broiled Tuna with Ginger and Leeks
4 large fillets, cut into two or three so you have about 8 to 10 pieces. Rinse and pat dry. Season very lightly with salt and pepper.

Marinate in the following for at least 15 minutes:
1/4 – 1/3 c soy sauce
1-2 Teaspoons hot chilli sauce
4 garlic cloves minced (we used roasted garlic)
1-2 Teaspoons white sesame seeds
2-3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1-2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 heaping Tsp grated fresh ginger
Generous pinch of sugar

(Quantities are approximate, this is very much a pinch of this and a dash of that sort of recipe)

While fish marinates, slice up one large leek (wash and drain sliced leeks in at least 2 changes of water so you don’t end up with sand) and saute this on low heat in about 1-2 tsp of oil or butter. When the leeks have started to soften, add a heaping tsp of fresh grated ginger to the pan and keep sauteing until leeks are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat broil to high setting. Arrange fish skin down on a baking pan (line with parchment paper or foil). Pour any marinade from the bowl over the fish and drizzle with another tablespoon or so of sesame oil.
Broil in top part of oven about 10-15 minutes until fish is brown and cooked inside (test with a fork, if fish just starts to flake, take it out of the oven. You don’t want to over cook.)

Arrange broiled fish on a platter and spoon sauteed leeks over the fish. Serve with salad and sticky rice. You could probably use any other nice white fish such as tilapia, or mahi mahi.