Saturday, March 31, 2012

Halibut with Ginger and Shiitake Mushrooms

There may be a glitch in the matrix.


The thing is, after repeatedly sampling this halibut recipe, I can say in no uncertain terms that it's the best halibut ever (on dramatic days, I have been known to generalize beyond halibut to all fish, hot foods, or objects in the solar system). But that last night, for inexplicable reasons, I made this new recipe instead. And it...here's where the glitch comes in...it also seems to be the best halibut ever.

Obviously, a philosophical conundrum such as this can only be resolved through tireless and repeated empirical investigation. I'll get back to you when I've gotten to the bottom of it (or to the bottom of the Co-op's fish supply, whichever comes first). In the meantime, feel free to engage in your own scientific tests -- for the benefit of humankind, of course, and for the benefit of dinner.


Serve over brown or black rice, and pair with some sort of vegetable. This recipe is fairly simple and quick, as long as you remember to start the rice ahead of time.


Ingredients
1/2 - 2/3 lbs halibut (enough for two)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
Several thin slices ginger, julienned (nearly twice as much ginger as garlic, volume-wise)
12-15 shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean, stems removed, and cut in half
(or sliced in thirds, if especially large)
3 oz sake (rice wine)
Lemon wedges or halves

Sprinkle the fish with salt and black pepper, then dredge in the flour.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. When hot, drizzle the bottom lightly with olive oil, then add the fish. Pan fry for several minutes until golden brown on the bottom, then flip. (If you've cut the piece of fish in half already and it's fairly thick, you may be able to brown all four sides. If not, turn the heat down a bit so that the fish can cook through before the bottom gets too dark.)

After you've flipped the fish, heat a glug of olive oil in another pan over medium heat (or, if you're lazy like me and have a big enough pan, push the fish to the side of the first pan and do this on the other side while it cooks). Add the ginger and scallions, stir a few times, then add the garlic and turn the heat down just a bit. Saute for 15-20 seconds, then add the mushrooms and stir to coat. Continue cooking the mushrooms, stirring occasionally and without crowding them, until they start to lightly brown.

Just before the fish is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Sprinkle the mushrooms with a pinch of salt, stir, then add the sake and turn off the heat. Stir a few times as the sake simmers. Serve the fish over rice, and spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with a generous wedge of lemon, and serve hot.


Serves 2.

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