Monday, October 11, 2010

Ginger Chili Fish Fillets

I have the worst technology/computer luck. Ever. My computers have gone through more crashes that all the world's stock markets combined. And it's not just hardware...the simplest of programs have mysteriously refused to work under my incapable hands. I have committed that horrible act of spilling coffee (with milk and sugar) on my laptop (no, it doesn't only happen in movies). My technician is on the top of my Christmas list. I have endured too many computer meltdowns to count. To think I spend all of my working and a big chunk of my "playing" time on a computer! To think I'm a blogger from whose fingertips computer skills are expected to spew magically forth like fairy dust. Not so.

Just because I live and work on a computer online most of the time does not mean technology has taken kindly to me. It's a bit on a tainted love we have -- me and technology. Case in point, I am fresh (although that would be the last word I would use to describe how I feel) from my work computer's major crash (hello 500++ emails queued up in 2 days) and now stare helplessly at my laptop that has decided to join in the fun. Black screen with a little white cursor glowing menacingly at me. Fie on you.

These days, I am beyond the hair-pulling, head-spinning dramatics these breakdowns would once trigger. I've long learned that shaking fists and sobbing buckets do not sway cold-hearted hard drives. Instead I brew some tea and remind myself that as far as calamities go my little technological hiccups are just small fry in the grander scheme of things. I think of the many other areas at which I am much luckier, and hunker down with some of life's more tangible pleasures --- like food magazines :)

Ginger Chili Fish Fillets
(adapted from Yummy Magazine, July 2010 issue)
  • 300 grams white fish fillet, cut into 2-inch portions
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 green finger chili, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, separated
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 400 grams bokchoy, leaves separated
  • 1-2 tablespoons sliced spring onion/green onion, to garnish

- Mix cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Add fish and toss to coat. Shake of the excess.
- Mix 1 tablespoon soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, black vinegar, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat half the oil in a wok on high. When hot, stir-fry ginger and chili for 1-2 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.
- In the same wok heat the rest of the oil. Fry fish for about 2 minutes on each side. Add ginger/chili mixture and the soy sauce mixture. Let this bubble for a few seconds then toss until the fish is coated on all sides. Remove from the wok and set aside.
- In the same wok add the bokchoy with the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Cover and let cook for about 30 seconds. Uncover, toss, cover and cook for another 30 seconds, then take off the heat. You want the bokchoy to be just cooked.
- Arrange the bokchoy on a serving plate. Lay the fish on top of the vegetables. Top with a sprinkling of green onion.
- Serves two.

Although I love trawling the net for food inspiration, especially among other food blogs, nothing can quite replace the satisfaction of pages in your hand, something you can hold and scribble notes on and take with you to bed on a rainy night. This recipe was taken from Yummy magazine -- one of my favorite local food magazines for its unfussy and upbeat appeal, simple yet flavorful recipes, and interesting features. I've amended the recipe to add more greens (as we do love our greens over here!) and a touch of sesame and black vinegar to the sauce as I feel these flavors complement the soy perfectly. A bowl of steaming white rice is not required but highly recommended.

It's amazing how computers, and the internet, and technology in general, have gone and, in what seems to be the blink of an eye, made themselves indispensable to our lives -- or at least that's what they like us to believe. Despite my bad luck though, I am still a fan, after all here I am right? Plugging away in my little corner of this cyber-world :)

That being said, I think these little disasters are opportunities for us to also defrag and reboot and perhaps even reformat. To stop and take stock...even if it is only to take stock of a to-cook list from one of your favorite food magazines :)


Midge said...

I sympathize with all your computer woes. I've had to deal with recalcitrant PCs (and at least one ornery laptop) for the past several years - and this was during my time in the IT industry!

But computer glitches aside, I love the glaze on those fish fillets. It makes them look exotic and exciting!

♥peachkins♥ said...

this looks like something I would cook but I don't have black vinegar. Is that a must or can I use regular vinegar?

Ling said...

pssst Joey - switch to Mac... :D

Junglefrog said...

Computers... they can be so much fun but if they stop working or crash... they also be someones worst nightmare!! I hate it when that happens! That being said... Your fish looks gorgeous!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

This looks so good! My friend had something like this in a restaurant and I was searching for a similar recipe. Now I've found it :D

Anne said...

Can't wait to try this recipe! It looks yummy :)

Vivienne said...

Your photo looks like its from some food magazine also. Looks so delicious that i wish i have the ingredients right now! Fingers crossed no more computer dramas!

Style Your Food said...

oh yessss that dish looks so good and fun to make. This recipes will be very helpful to me. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

When technology frustates, food soothes. This spicy, gingery fish would do the trick, although I would have it later in the day than breakfast. I would use our local grouper called hamour.

Ananda Rajashekar said...

bookmarking...want to give it a go! :)

Stepford Mum said...

I too am technologically unfortunate. I won't even try to count the number of times my last laptop has crashed.

But this recipe looks so yum, and we will definitely be trying it!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Midge! Then you know my pain! Love how glazed these fillets get too…and it comes together all glossy so quickly!

Hi Peachkins! If you don’t have black vinegar just leave it out…the original recipe doesn’t have it :)

Ling! Don’t think I haven’t thought about that more than once! Sometimes I think all this computer trouble is just Someone trying to send me that very message!!

Hi Junglefrog! Thanks! And yes…these crashes can get quite nightmarish!

Hi Brittany! Hope you like it! It is quick and easy to make :)

Hope you enjoy it Anne! We have made it several times already :)

Hi Vivienne! Thank you!!! Yes, all fingers crossed!

Hi Style Your Food! Glad to be of service :)

Hi Sally! You put that so well!

Hi Ananda! Enjoy!

Hi Iyor! Sigh…I am in good company then ;) Hope you guys like it!

Ling said...

Come away from the dark side and into the light, child... :D

Tv Food and Drink said...

I can't count on the internet, so I print out every recipe of interest and categorize them in binders. Nothing like holding that paper in your hands. It's like having a ticket for a great ride.

Sam Rice said...

This looks really tempting! I guess serving this with hot steamed rice is dope! I am quite fond of Asian cuisine and this feels like kinda Chinese. Thanks for sharing this one! I will really try this out!

Chris said... is my best friend and my worst enemy! Don't get me started...;)

Love this recipe. Always looking for an irresistible fish recipe...and this looks a winner!

redmenace said...

Oh technology. It's one of my enemies as well. I'm sorry to hear you are frustrated, but your fish fillets look wonderful! xo

JMom said...

I was just trying to think of a new way to cook up some tilapia filets I have in the freezer. I think I just found it. Thanks! Your dish looks delicious!

Lannie said...

Funny you mention the PC troubles... for the past month my computer has been shutting down every single time I'm not in front of it! Luckily... hubby is a brilliant IT professional ;)

Denise said...

I'm a lot like you. I used to get totally bent out of shape when things went wrong on the 'puter. Not anymore. I go for a walk in my local park to breathe and get my head on straight. Then make some tea. Then steel myself for the check I'm going to have to write to get it all functioning again. Sigh...

Stephen said...

wow! thank you for sharing this recipe, you see my mom and my tita is looking for a new recipe in fish fillets, to have a new taste and twist of fish fillet! I'll endorse this to them I'm sure they gonna love this!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ling! Hahaha! I have friends that say the exact thing! One day I swear I will!

Hi Gary! Wow! I need to get organization tips from you!

Hi Sam! Yes, it does have very Chinese influences and flavors...and yes, with hot steamed rice it is a real winner :)

Hi Chris! I hear ya! Thanks…hope you like it! It’s simple and a really flavorful!

Hi Robin! Thank you :) Everything is up and running once again but I know…it’s only a matter of time…**big sigh**

Hi Jmom! Glad to be of service :) Hope you enjoy it!

Hi Lannie! Lucky you to have an in-house technician! ;)

Hi Denise! That sounds like a great way to deal with computer frustrations :)

Hi Stephen! I hope they like it :)