Hope you all had a beautiful Diwali celebration this year....we certainly had one of the most memorable ones in recent years. We celebrated Diwali with my family (parents and brother's family) in Mumbai - the last time we did that was in 2005. The kids had a blast and the sweet teeth of my family meant that the amount of sweets consumed was more than what I have had in the last two Diwalis! Plus there was hubby's birthday the day before Diwali. Then on Saturday, we moved to my best friend's place and celebrated with her whole family - a truly special time for us. My daughter didn't want to come back to Delhi!
Coming back to reality and the rush hour of work days, I have today a very convenient and time saving grilled fish recipe which is also very delicious.
This is a dish which I made quite impulsively, one of those times one cooks according to a recipe seen somewhere and from vaguely remembered bits and bobs of it - but you do remember that it sounded like a really good recipe and you just have to try it.You know what I mean right.....What?!- you mean, no one else does this? Oh ok. Fine then.
I do things like this all the time - see some cookery show on TV (and don't have the patience to actually note things down) or read some recipe in a library book (again, postpone noting down the recipes I like till its too late and the book has to go back) or even worse, read a recipe from a book while standing in the library waiting for hubby to choose his books (I take 5 minutes since I have a list from here to Timbuctoo, while he only knows what he doesn't want!) - so no question of writing it down anywhere!
Well this Asian style Grilled Fish recipe doesn't even have these sources to boast of! I rushed into the newly opened outlet of Godrej's Nature Basket in my next door market one evening, to pick up some bread on my way back from work. While I was drumming my fingers on the cashier's desk waiting for him to bill it, I saw a stack of fliers. These are the usual ones they keep every week, with recipes using the exotic ingredients they stock - I guess to encourage people to buy said exotic ingredients - think Fleur de Sel, African Meat rubs and marinades, Corn Relish, Mustard Pickle, plum conserve - you get the drift.
This particular flier had two recipes from the host of some cookery show on the NDTV Good Times channel - I guess if they were quoting him as the source, he must be a minor celebrity but I couldn't recognise his name. I picked up the flier since I quite liked the Five Spice Powder Chicken recipe it had.
The next day was a Saturday and I bought some fish while doing my weekly grocery shopping, intending to use the Five Spice recipe for that evening - yes, I know the original was for chicken, but I'm like that wonly!
But, when I reached home I couldn't find the flier - likely it must have gone into the old paper cupboard or even the trash because my hatred for the fliers that fall out of newspapers is well known in this house (I even rip out the bookmarkish kinds of thick advt pages in magazines because I find them sooo annoying!) So, I decided to wing it with whatever I remembered. The five spice powder, the onion powder and the garlic powder I definitely remembered - the rest are all approximations of what I think should go into an Asian Style Grilled Fish. The original recipe had a sweet plum sauce made to go with the chicken, but I just decided to serve some spinach on the side. Asian greens like bok choy would be good too for this dish.
The pictures don't do enough justice to the lovely, lovely meal this turned out to be. The fish was seared and crisp on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside. The taste of the spices mixed with the honey and soy mixture was unusual and very tasty.
Five Spice Grilled Fish with Spinach
Sole Fish fillets - 350gm cut into 3 large pieces
Five spice powder - 1 tbsp
Onion powder - 1 tbsp
Garlic powder - 2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Honey - 1 tbsp
Crushed peppercorns - 1 tbsp
Rice wine vinegar - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Spinach - 2 cups washed and chopped long
1 onion sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1. Mix the spice powder, garlic powder and the onion powder together and rub into the fish fillets.
2. Mix all the other ingredients of the marinade together mix the fish into it into a wide bowl. Keep aside for half an hour or refrigerate if cooking after an hour.
3. When ready to cook, pre heat the oven to 350C. Heat the oil in a wide pan and saute the garlic for half a minute, then add the onions and saute 3-4 minutes till soft.
4. Add the chopped spinach and saute on high for two minutes till it just wilts, Add the salt and remove from flame
6. In an oven proof bowl, arrange the sauteed spinach and then the fish fillets on top.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or till the fish is flaky.
8. Serve with some crispy noodles on the side or even some sticky rice. The spinach can be served on top of the fish fillets.
You could stir fry the spinach for a few minutes and serve it on the side without baking it with the fish. that way it would retain the fresh green colour. However, you may want to add some more seasonings. By baking it along with the fish, the spinach soaked up some of the marinade juices and was just right.