Well, it feels like too long since I last wrote something here...
I started a new job this week, working for a prestigious institution in an intellectually challenging role which promises to take me around the world in the course of my two-year contract. Basically it's my dream job. But oh my, have I been busy.
With so little time to cook I've been getting itchy fingers. For lunch today I wanted something light but with lots of satisfying, punchy flavour.
The dab looked fresh and firm at the fishmongers, and with saint Jamie himself proclaiming it to be the sustainable flat-fish-du-jour who am I to argue?
This would be delicious with a scoop of fluffy white rice and something healthy like steamed green beans to calm the fires.
2 dab, scaled and gutted (about 250-300g each)
6 spring onions, finely sliced at an angle, whites and green parts separated
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
6 tbsp Szechuanese chilli bean paste
2 tsp sugar
400ml vegetable stock mixed with 2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp whole Szechuan pepper
2 tsp and 4 tbsp vegetable oil
1) Wash and dry the fish and rub on both sides with 2 tsp of the oil before making a few slashes in the flesh on each side to allow the sauce to penetrate. Brown under a high grill for two mins on each side, then set aside.
2) Heat the remaining oil in a wok or large frying pan, and then briefly fry the Szechuan pepper and ginger before adding the garlic and white spring onion. Add the chilli sauce before the garlic starts to brown, then cook for a further 30 seconds before adding the vegetable stock and sugar.
3) Simmer the sauce for a minute, then add the fish to the pan to finish cooking. This will depend on the size of your fish, but will probably only take a couple more minutes.