I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Steamed Tilapia with Cabbage and Shiitakes

After our Ono Mix Plate fest, something light was needed, and something that would use the odds and ends in our fridge. We always have udon noodles on hand, I buy three-packs of the individual fresh udon without the sauce base whenever I do a Nijiya shop. I also had shiitakes that had dried in the fridge, a few teaspoon-fulls of tobiko left over from Robert's birthday poke, and a quarter cabbage. We picked up a handful of snow peas and some tilapia and I threw this together. It came together quickly, and was satisfying, tasty and healthful.

It was gorgeous topped with the tobiko, pretty enough for a dinner party. We used the shimchimi pepper mixture to give some heat to ours, but just garnished Miriam's with gomasio and gave her some "tiny orange balls" on the side. I would also serve this on soba, top with cilantro if I had it on hand, or replace the cabbage with Napa cabbage. Julienned carrots would be pretty, too, but at that point it stops being a quick/easy recipe.

1 lb. tilapia
6-10 dried shiitakes
2 c. coarsely shredded cabbage
1 handful snow peas, sliced on the diagonal to 1" pieces
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 t. minced ginger
1/4 c mirin
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T ponzu
1 t sesame oil
Gomasio (store-bought or home-made)
Tobiko (optional)

Soak the shiitakes in hot tap water till soft, about 15 minutes. Lay the tilapia filets out on a plate. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.

Slice the veggies: cabbage, snow peas, green onions, garlic and ginger. Combine the garlic, ginger, mirin, soy and ponzu in a small bowl.

Drain the mushrooms (save the mushroom water for another use if so inclined), rinse any grit off, squeeze out moisture. Remove stems and slice caps thinly.

Set up a steamer, bringing water to boil. In a pie plate, place cabbage, then snow peas, then mushrooms and 1/2 green onions. Pour 1-2 T sauce over, and steam five minutes.

Meanwhile, blot any moisture from fish, with a paper towel, then liberally salt and pepper; prepare udon noodles. Place fish over veggie mixture, sprinkling remaining sauce and green onions on top. Steam 10 minutes.

Drain udon noodles and distribute in ramen or pasta bowls. Check fish for doneness. When just cooked, distribute veggies, then fish fillets on noodles, ladle sauce over fish and sprinkle with gomasio and shichimi togarishi, adding a dollop of tobiko if available.

Serves three adults or two adults, one kid with leftovers for one lunch. Delicious with a glass of chilled Gewurtztraminer.

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