Posted by: mikeydude | November 9, 2009

Steamed Red Tillapa + Sea Bream with Asparagus Gohan (Rice) + Shitake Miso Soup

I was on a day off studying and so home all day during a cold November’s day. Had to do the grocery shopping also and so thought it would be a great opportunity to cook some fresh fish. I also made some Japanese stock (dashi) in preparation for the meal in the evening.

An interesting revelation came upon me that day which I was surprised I had never discovered before. The Japanese don’t eat fish whole. They fillet everything. Hmmmm… that meant I was going to have to cook the fish chinese style that evening as I didn’t know what to do with the bones if I filleted the fish. Not enough to make stock and yet fiddly to store in the freezer.

Anyway here’s what I made.

Shitake Miso Soup

miso shitake

Felt like a warm soup to kick off with. Unfortunately tesco does not sell Tofu and so the vital ingredient was missing. Nevertheless this was made simply with adding white miso paste, wagami seaweed, sliced shitake mushrooms, and sansho pepper to my pre-made dashi. Oh I also added some headless shell-on tiger prawns at the end for extra flavour and also a special treat! To prevent overcooking I separated the prawns and mixed them with my rice dish once it was ready. Very quick to make and yet a great starter soup. The sansho pepper is not mandatory but gives the soup a nice end-fragrance. Hmmmm… it tasted alright but I still don’t think you can make a proper miso without tofu (grr).

Asparagus Gohan (Rice)

asp gohan

Never made this one before. After washing the rice as usual, I used Dashi to cook the rice instead of water, and also added soy sauce light and dark, and sake. I then added some chopped asparagus half way through the cooking process. Once the rice was done I let it rest for a while before mixing it all together. I garnished it with the prawns I made using the miso soup. Hmmmm… the wife and I agreed that it tasted a little bland…. so more soy nxt time πŸ™‚

Steamed Red Tillapa + Sea Bream

steam bream + red Tillapa

Whole steamed fish; a favourite of the chinese. After scaling the fish and removing its gills, I scored the fish to allow even cooking and added slices of ginger and fine chopped spring onions. Seasoning was in the form of salt, light soy sauce, and chinese rice wine (Tsingtao). I steamed it for around 10 mins but it needed another 2 due to the middle not being quite cooked (better under than over I always say…). Hmmmm…. obviously not the freshest of fish from Tesco. Also farmed is never going to match sea grown. The bream was ok, but the red tillapa I’m not fond of at all. It just doesn’t match the bream in terms of texture and taste. Also it’s got a rather large gall bladder and I think it had leaked over the belly side of the fish because it all tasted rather bitter! Not the most pleasant experience… don’t think I’ll be buying red tillapa ever again.

Steamed Asparagus

steam asp

I steamed this as I had extra space in my 2 tier steamer. Just trimmed them and placed them in a porcelain dish and steamed it for 10 mins with salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Nothing fancy… just satisfied a portion of the 5-a-day requirements.

All in all.. not a bad dinner. Not great either…. red tillapa is not to my tastes, rice was underseasoned, and the miso was incomplete without tofu. Nuff said. πŸ™‚

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