Before I relocated to the East Coast fifteen years ago, I didn’t know I was a fish/seafood snob. Growing up on the Gulf Coast fishing with my dad, my mom preparing the perch or catfish or bass we caught that day for our supper, hanging out with coworker’s at the company fish fry, and unwinding at neighborhood crab or crawfish boils were as ingrained a way of life for me as Mary Kay and Church. As a kid and young adult, I took it all for granted. I never respected the quantity of quality fish and seafood the Gulf provided us.
Subsequently, it is rare for me to like the smell and taste of fish and seafood that isn’t on par with the freshness I experienced growing up. Occasionally, I do find good quality fish and enjoy it immensely. Such is the case with this Turbot recipe, which the spouse picked up at Whole Foods on her commute back from the Jersey Shore. If you have fresh fish and seafood near you, please don’t take it for granted! And, definitely pick up your favorite firm, white fish and make this clean, aromatic, light and healthy meal for you and your family. It is super easy and New Year’s Resolution friendly.
1 lg Turbot filet or white fish of choice (serves two)
1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed, with leaves pulled apart then chopped in half
1″ knob of galangal or ginger root, skin removed and minced
1 Thai Bird chili or jalapeno or serrano, stem removed and thinly sliced
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp salted peanuts, rough chopped
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 servings rice vermicelli, cooked per package directions
1 sm sheet of parchment paper
In a med sauce pan, add the chicken stock, minced ginger, and as much chili pepper as you are comfortable with. Bring up to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Taste and add salt as necessary. Continue simmering until ready to serve.
Prepare a wok for your steamer by adding enough water so that the bottom edges of the bamboo steamer is submerged enough to prevent burning. Bring the water to a soft boil (feel free to season the water if you like to perfume the fish with soy sauce, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, etc.).
Meanwhile, place a small piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the bamboo steamer, just big enough to fit the fish on top of. Next add the lemongrass and place the fish on top. Lightly salt and pepper the Turbot then top the fish with the sliced lime. Cover with the lid.
Once the water in the wok is at a soft boil, place the steamer in the water and steam the fish 8 – 10 minutes until it is opaque and flakes easily. Divide the vermicelli into serving bowls, ladle the chili ginger broth over the noodles, and then top the noodles with a single portion of the steamed fish. Garnish with the chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately.