Monday, February 3, 2014

Thai Fried Snapper with Tangy Sauce

The Spice House offers an amazing variety of products, all of the finest quality. I found their Argyle Street Asian Blend to be a wonderfully balanced mixture of signature Thai flavors such as lemon grass, coriander, cilantro, and ginger, rounded out with garlic, chile, and white pepper. Sesame seeds add a nice visual and textural element.

Black Garlic was something I had never used before, but was eager to try. It has an amazing rich, pungent, but mellow garlic flavor, and is packed with umami. I knew this would pair well with the Argyle Street seasoning in an Asian dish.

The Sansho Pepper threw me for a loop. Its sharp citrus quality is earthy, but bright, and the reactive, numbing effect on the tongue makes for quite the sensory experience!

To make the most of these three Spice House offerings in a single dish, I came up with the “Tangy Sauce.” The Black Garlic provides a solid, flavorful base to the sauce, Chile de Arbol adds heat, and the Sansho Pepper marries with the vinegar for a fragrant, tart finish. Fish was the perfect vehicle for the Argyle Street Asian Blend, and my dad provided fresh snapper the day before I had planned to cook. The light egg white/corn starch coating creates a light crust that captures and mingles the flavors of the sauce with the seasonings on the fish for a harmonious, delicious bite.

Together, these flavors create a delicious, Asian-inspired dish. On their own and in myriad other combinations, these wonderful ingredients from The Spice House will open up a whole new world of recipes and experiences in your kitchen.

Thai Fried Snapper with Tangy Sauce
by Gary

1 pound snapper filet, cut into 1-inch thick pieces
1 teaspoon The Spice House Argyle Street Asian Blend PLUS
1 Tablespoon The Spice House Argyle Street Asian Blend, divided use
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white, beaten
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 Tablespoon mirin
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Peanut oil, for deep frying
2 green onions, chopped, for garnish
White or black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons cane sugar
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
5 cloves The Spice House Black Garlic, mashed
1/4 teaspoon The Spice House Whole Sansho Pepper, crushed (I used a mortar and pestle)
2 Chile de Arbol peppers, broken in half
1 slice (1/2-inch size) fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons water
1 splash fish sauce

For the fish: Rinse the fish pieces under cold water; pat dry. Season with 1 teaspoon Argyle Street Asian Blend, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. In a shallow bowl, combine egg white, corn starch, mirin, pinch of salt, white pepper, garlic powder and 1 Tablespoon Argyle Street seasoning. Whisk to mix well. 

Heat peanut oil over medium-high heat to 375°F. Coat fish pieces evenly with egg white mixture, shaking off any excess. Fry fish until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove to paper towels to drain. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For the sauce: In a nonreactive sauce pan, bring stock, sugar, vinegar, and oyster sauce to a boil. Add black garlic, Sansho pepper, Chile de Arbol, and ginger. Combine corn starch with water. Stirring constantly, add corn starch slurry to sauce. Stir until thickened, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Check seasonings (salt may be needed, depending upon saltiness of the stock).

To serve: Arrange fish on a platter or bed of vegetables or rice. Stir fish sauce into sauce mixture, check seasonings once more, and spoon over fish. Garnish with scallions or sesame seeds and serve immediately.

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