Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Deep, or just full of it?

How ‘bout the dramatic and tragic:

Mighty swimmer
Exhausted from his spawn
A soft cilantro bed

Or the tasty and expedient:

Pink and delicate
With fine citrus note
Makes two dinners

Or maybe the rice related:

Sticky and dark
Bowl of deep mystery
Where is the sweet?

Or the enigmatic:

Hissing in gingered oil
A bean snaps

This is sort of a Japanese / Chinese fusion inspired dinner. Hence the sorry attempts at some Haiku. TeenBoy had some funny ones concerning the beans and flatulence, but we reserved those in keeping with good taste.

A whole salmon, albet a small one, roasted in a glaze of mirin (basically citrus flavored soy sauce), ginger, garlic and cilantro. With peanut oil. Instead of grilling the fish, which I am not very successful at, I roasted it at a very high temperature. As if it were being grilled over a hot fire.

The result was a crispy skin and a still pink inner. Which to me is ideal. You get sort of that seared effect that is so popular.

And I always like how the mirin goes with salmon. Somehow the citrus flavor works well.

The Chinese long beans are popular around here. I’m not sure when the season is, but at the moment they are available everywhere. The beans look like a regular green bean, only they are about ½ meter long. Your initial impression is certainly more one of snakes, not beans. But they cook up very nicely, retaining some crunch after a quick toss in the wok.

The black rice – called sweet black rice on the bag – was something new. Despite reading about it, we were not sure what to expect. Of course, everyone expected something a bit sweet. But it’s just rice. Not sweet. Just a little ‘stickier’ than other types of rice. During cooking, a lot more gluten comes out of this rice than other varieties, resulting in a more creamy consistency. A good deal if you’re eating out of a small bowl with chop sticks.

I understand that this is a popular rice for making a sweet rice pudding from. With the addition of some sweetener. Taking advantage of the already very sticky consistency of the cooked rice. Eaten for breakfast in Thailand. Sounds interesting as well.

After getting over the fact that it was not going to be sweet, it turned out to be fine. Maybe a little more convenient that some rice types for chop sticks, but not really unusual in flavor.

Whole Roasted Salmon with Ginger Long Beans on Black Rice
Recipe by surfindaave
Serves 6

1 small whole salmon, 4-5 pounds cleaned with head removed
1 lemon, sliced thin
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 knob fresh ginger, size of your thumb, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut oil
Ginger Long Beans (recipe follows)
Steamed black rice (recipe follows)
Fresh cilantro for garnish, if desired

In a bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, mirin, soy sauce, peanut oil and cilantro.

Preheat oven to 525ºF.

Rinse the salmon thoroughly, and dry with paper towels. Make three long, deep slits in the flesh on each side of the salmon. Place the salmon in a roasting pan. Pour marinade over salmon, and rub into skin, slits and cavity. Fill the cavity with the lemon slices, and pack as much of the marinade (cilantro, garlic, ginger) into the cavity as possible. Close the cavity with toothpicks or skewers.

Roast salmon in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until skin is darkened and crispy. The outside will be well done, the very center still quite pink. Remove from oven, and let rest. Peel back skin, loosen large pieces of meat from the bones, and serve on top of the black rice with the ginger long beans. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired. Enjoy!

Ginger Long Beans
Recipe by surfindaave
Serves 6

2 bunches Chinese black or green long beans, rinsed well, and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 knob of ginger, size of your thumb, peeled and sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Peanut oil
¼ cup water

Heat peanut oil in a large frying pan (or wok) with a lid till very hot. Add beans, ginger and garlic, tossing quickly to coat in oil. Add water and quickly cover. Let steam for 2 minutes, then remove lid, and continue to toss until liquid is evaporated and beans are crisp-tender. Remove to a plate. Serve immediately.

Steamed Black Rice
Recipe by surfindaave
Serves 6

3 cups black rice (or substitute any rice you like. The black rice makes for a dramatic effect)
3 ½ cups water

Place rice in a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, uncovered, with water. Bring water to a boil, and continue to boil until no more water is left above level of rice (note – don’t let rice dry out and burn). Turn heat down to lowest level, and cover rice tightly with lid. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Serve.

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Blogger Kalyn said...

Wow. You should really be writing an elegant cookbook.

I like the poems. I'd be tempted to post a few of my own poems if they weren't so personal.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:33 PM  
Blogger surfindaave said...

Kalyn, thanks for the compliement!

You could publish your poems in a seperate blog using a cryptic pseudonym, like surfindaave, for example. See what happens!

12:30 AM  

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