Who isn’t into eating healthy these days? And saving time and money. These are some of the reasons I provide this community service known as Pan Asian. Until very recently, I did not have health insurance, so the food I eat has become an important part of ensuring that I stay on top of my game (along with exercise, of course). Though the Mediterranean diet is often touted by experts as one of the healthiest in the world, I know though direct experience that Asian food works for me. Rice, veggies, stir-frys, and seafood are all hallmarks of the Pan Asian diet, which makes up most of the food I eat at home, and they all intersect quite nicely in this week’s dish–Stir Fried Fish with Mushrooms & Ginger. This simple Vietnamese stir-fry typifies the kind of dish I like to include in my Pan Asian web series because it’s quick, easy, healthy, and most importantly, delicious. As a kid I used to think that anything that was “good for you” had to taste bad. But as I grew up, I discovered how far that notion is from the truth. In the west where we’ve been weaned on artificial flavors and genetically modified crops, nutritious certainly does not always mean delicious. But if you cook at home, and shop consciously (always reading the labels), you can escape this conditioning. In fact, try some Asian fast food like the following recipe. You might even like it more than McDonald’s.
3 Tbsp. oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-inch piece fresh ginger root, cut into thin strips
5 fresh shitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps cut into thin strips
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
¼ cup chicken stock
1 lb. flounder (or other white fish), thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 finger length chilies, cut into thin strips
1 spring onion, chopped (for garnish)
sprig of cilantro leaves (for garnish)
1.) Heat oil in wok. Stir-fry garlic, ginger, and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
2.) Add hoisin sauce and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil. In quick succession add fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, and mix thoroughly. Stir in fish pieces and simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes.
3.) Transfer to serving platter, garnish with spring onion and cilantro leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.