Opposites attract, so they say. And I do think that this time “they” may be on to something. How else could you explain the enduring attraction of men to women and vice versa? It certainly isn’t because they share sooooo many similarities – biped, air-breathing mammal is about as far as the similarities go!
I have written before about how amusingly different we can sometimes be, and somehow the culinary world is second only to the world of personal hygiene in terms of throwing a spotlight on our differences.
For example, I read about the global shortage of basics such as wheat and rice, and come home resolving to waste less food and shun biofuels that divert resources from food production. Nick reads the same news and comes home with… a 10kg bag of rice and a 3kg bag of pasta. For two people.
Anybody got an eco-friendly remedy for keeping weevils at bay?!
Or I’ll go shopping for fish and spend half an hour haranguing some poor supermarket employee about whether the salmon is farmed or wild; how the tuna was caught; and whether this cod is from sustainable stocks. Nick goes shopping, laughs hysterically at the price of sustainable, farmed cod, and comes home with two mahi-mahi fillets. Sustainability? Food miles? Who knows, but hey, they were half price!!
Bless their little uncomplicated hearts.
Thankfully, according to the MSC, mahi-mahi are fished within sustainable levels in ways that don’t cause excessive environmental damage. They rate them a 2 on a scale where 5 equals “don’t eat under any circumstances!” - so big sigh of relief there! However, seeing as they thrive in tropical and subtropical waters, the food miles issue is another story… but by this time it was too late – the fish was already in my fridge and the carbon emissions had already been generated. Nothing for it but to eat the little blighters.
Mahi-mahi is also called pompano and dorado and when it’s alive it is a beautifully coloured game fish. Like tuna and swordfish, the flesh is very firm and steak-like rather than flaky, so I was slightly worried about it being dry when cooked. I could have seared it briefly in my griddle pan, but this would have entailed making some sort of salsa and I was feeling lazy. In the end I went for Asian-inspired flavours and cooked the fish in foil parcels in the oven, so it remained not only flavoursome but also beautifully moist. While the fish was in the oven I steamed some asparagus (served on the side, doused in soy sauce and sesame seeds) and boiled some jasmine rice. Hey presto – the quickest dinner imagineable and a wonderful way to serve this fish. If you were serving it for friends, making the parcels out of baking paper would make for a very pretty plate indeed.
SWEET CHILLI, GINGER AND SPRING ONION MAHI-MAHI PARCELS (serves 2)
600-700g fresh mahi-mahi fillets
1 large spring onion (mine was HUGE!), sliced
sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Rinse the fillets and pat dry.
Brush the fillets on both sides with a little sesame oil and lay the fillets in the middle of a square of baking paper or foil large enough to wrap them in.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper (I may also have added dill, looking at the picture – use your discretion!). Scatter the grated ginger evenly over the fish and give each fillet a generous splash of sweet chilli sauce. Scatter the thinly sliced spring onion slices on top.
Wrap the fish into sealed parcels, leaving a little pocket of air between the topping and the foil/paper so that all the topping does not stick to the wrapping. Place parcels on a baking sheet in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes or until just cooked.
Serve on rice, taking care not to waste any of the cooking juices in the parcel.
Because this meal was both Asian-inspired and surprisingly speedy, I am submitting it to Jaden of Steamy Kitchen who is celebrating her birthday today by running a competition for the best 15-minute Asian-inspired dish. Happy birthday Jaden
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