Thursday, August 6, 2009
Golden garlic black cod
Black cod is the best tasting fish, IMHO. It is extremely tender, smooth, delicate, moist and delicately but wonderfully flavored. There is so much oil in it that it doesn't matter if you overcook it--it never gets tough, unlike grouper or salmon or most fish.
Steamed black cod, Cantonese restaurant-style
The best way to cook black cod (unrelated to the common cod which is used for fish and chips) is to steam it Cantonese restaurant-style, with lots of ginger and spring onions. This way, the fish retains its moisture and its true flavor is released. The Japanese way of teri yakiing it with soy sauce or miso comes second because frying such a delicate fish masks its flavor and replaces it with the flavor of heat, oil and the seasoning used.
The only fish Wey eats is black cod, and he's been begging me to deep-fry it instead of steaming but at the price of RM80/ US$22 per kg, I feel that it's a pity to cook it any other way. Today he gave me the most pitiful hangdog look ever and of course I fell for it and fried one slice for him and steamed the other two slices. Who wouldn't, Wey is extremely good at that look, outer eyebrows pulled down, shoulders hanging forward and almost whining. I still couldn't bring myself to deep-fry it, so I pan-fried it, which was stupid because deep-frying will cook the fish to an even tan and crisp it even more. Next time I will do that, irregardless of the oil.
What was our verdict? I still think black cod is best steamed but Wey said each method gives its special taste. And so here's a simple way to fry black cod if you are tired of steamed black cod.
Golden Garlic Black Cod
1 large black cod steak
1 t potato flour or cornflour
2 T chopped garlic
1 T good light soy sauce
1 t fine sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
dash of white pepper
1.Heat up 3 T of oil in a wok and fry the garlic over low heat until lightly golden. Remove garlic (leave oil in the wok) to a small bowl.
2. Smear 1 t corn flour or potato flour on the skin and flesh of the cod.
3. Add 1 cup of oil to the same wok and deep-fry the cod until golden and cooked.
4. Put the fish on a serving plate. Pour away all the oil leaving about 1-2 tablespoon, add all the sauce ingredients and heat until it begins to boil. Pour the sauce over the fish, top it with the fried garlic and serve immediately. Alternatively, you can heat up the sauce in a small pot and pour the sauce over the fish and spoon 1 or 2 tablespoon of hot oil over the fish and then scatter the garlic on top.