This new year Rob and I committed to more home cooked meals (read: less take out) and to making meals that are flavorful, delicious and made from whole foods. We really didn't want to go on a typical restrictive, miserable January diet that lasts 4 weeks before going back to our old ways.
So I spent some time making a list of our favorite recipes plus I researched a ton of new recipes to try. Rob and I loooove most kinds of Asian food. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, even Laotian - we love it all! We're willing to try just about anything with ginger and soy sauce in it. So many of the recipes on the list are Asian. One of our tried and true favorites is this Asian-style fish in parchment. Over the years, we've tested out a bunch of different recipes for asian fish and have basically merged some elements from all of them into one of our very favorite meals! Without fail, Rob says, "we should make this every week," whenever we are sitting at the table eating it.
4 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
4 6-8 oz filets of sole or your favorite white fish
2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
6 scallions, cut into 2 inch chunks
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 inch lemongrass, finely chopped
1-3 Thai birds eye peppers or 1 jalapeno, sliced into rings
Beware: Thai peppers are tiny but pack an enormous punch, I promise a little goes a long way.
4 pieces of parchment (or foil because I didn't realize we were out of parchment until I went to make this recipe the other night)
Prepare all the vegetables as described. Pat fish filets dry with paper towels, season with salt & pepper and set aside on a clean plate. In a small bowl, combine the first three ingredients listed to make a sauce. Lay out parchment or foil. On each piece of parchment, lay 1/2 cup of carrots, then place the fish on top of the bed of carrots. Split the ginger, garlic, peppers, lemongrass and scallions between the 4 packets. Finally, spoon the sauce mixture over the fish, splitting evenly among the 4 packets. Fold over the top of the parchment then roll the sides in to form a sealed pouch. Put the packets on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes.When the fish is ready, pour the entire packet into a shallow bowl. There will be tons of delicious sauce inside that you'll want over some rice and veggies.
We typically serve this fish with oven roasted baby bok choy and brown rice. We use baby bok choy in cooking a lot these days. It's relatively inexpensive, widely available and a great way to bulk up the volume of an Asian style meal with nutritious greens. For easy oven roasted baby bok choy, just half the bok choy lengthwise, lay face down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast at 450 for 20 minutes. I like mine very crispy and caramelized so you may want to check it after 15 minutes to see if that's enough for you. I'm super into these brown rice noodles lately. I bet they would be a great substitute for the rice. Also, crispy oven roasted broccoli is another winner with this fish.
This dish is great because its delicious and healthy, as I said. Also, it is very easy and can be prepared ahead. During Mary Clare's afternoon nap I will do all the chopping and roast the baby bok choy. In the evening, before bed time I will compile the fish packets and store them in the fridge. I make rice in advance or put it on the stove while I am upstairs doing bath and bedtime. Then when I come down, we are eating in 15 minutes. Also...parchment packets = easiest clean up ever. Do yourself a favor and order a big packet of pre cut parchment, it's super cheap and will last you forever! Clearly I will also be placing an Amazon order for some of these babies because we finally ran out after over a year! I would love to hear what you are cooking these days. What are your go to weeknight meals?
Here are some other Asian recipes we make again and again.
Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp: It's as delicious as it is simple to make. It requires little chopping but packs a flavorful punch! It was one of the first meals I managed to make on my own after having Mary Clare.
Spicy Ginger Pork Noodles: This is a fan favorite up in here! We have substituted pork with chicken. It tastes better with pork but then it's much greasier too. We often add more veggies than the recipe calls for.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps: Haven't we all tried a hundred different iterations of the chicken lettuce wrap? Well I have made a bunch of different recipes and this one reigns supreme. Try it and you'll never look back.
If you'd like to see the recipes that we tried over the years and inspired our Asian style fish recipe, you can find them here, here and right here.
Eat up and enjoy!