Due to MR ATMT having an allergy to any kind of seafood/fish, I very rarely prepare fish at home because it is a pain having to remember to be meticulous with separating anything that has had contact from the fish for fear of causing a reaction. He’d better not upset me!
I was lucky enough to be given a couple of freshly caught fish and decided I’d treat myself to cooking it using the asian smoking method. I pretty much followed a recipe I found at Feasting at Home and it worked really well.
First up was to make some 5 spice blend to go in the marinade. That’s nice and easy.
Five Spice Recipe:
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons whole cloves
2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 whole star anises
2 teaspoons peppercorns
Toast all in a skillet over medium heat until just fragrant, 1-2 mins only. Grind in a coffee grinder until smooth.
Then to make the marinade:
4 cloves garlic whole
3 Tblspns fresh ginger- sliced
2 tsp Five Spice (store bought or make your own… see below)
¼ Cup neutral oil
4 Tblspns soy sauce
2.5 Tblspns brown sugar
1 orange (¼ C fresh orange juice and zest, divided )
Put the whole lot into the blender and whizz until all smooth and processed. Place the fish into a container and cover with the marinade. I left mine overnight.
I dragged my Indian karahi out from under a pile of ‘stuff’ on the verandah to make the smoker. Lined the base with 4 sheets of foil, and added:
3 Tblspns of rice
2 Tblspns loose leaf black tea
2 Tblspns sugar
2 Dried red chilies
Stir these together to get an even mix, place a cake cooler over it ensuring there is some clearance between the smoking ingredients and the steamer or whatever you use.
Put the marinated fish into your steamer, (I placed a bit of baking paper under them) put the lid on and place the wok over a fairly high heat until a good amount of smoke appears. Turn the heat down and continue for approx another 5 minutes, turn down again and then another 5 minutes. Fish should be cooked by now. It may have taken a bit longer for mine as I was cooking outside and the breeze was playing with the heat! I then placed it on the grill for the shortest time, just to colour the outside.
I picked some lettuce, snow peas and thai basil and chives. Cut up a cucumber and tomato, making a stack piling everything on top of each other. I then placed pieces of the fish on top, sprinkled with some chopped thai basil and chives and then added a squeeze of lime juice. Some grilled sourdough that I had spread some feta cheese onto and it made the most beautiful lunch.