Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Salt Debate

It’s great that our Mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg cares about our health with his campaign to reduce salt content used in food products and restaurant chains.
Fortunately, great flavors (and health) can always be achieved with spices & herbs so that one can do with very little salt. I tweaked this fish dish from a Khmer Amok recipe I picked up in Cambodia in 1998.  It is low in sodium but nicely spiced. My Godmother Sonja, loves this dish and has had this recipe posted on her fridge since it was published in NYT’s Dining & Wine section. This delicious dish is also a great picnic and summer-time staple since it’s served at room temperature and portable.  Enjoy!
Adapted from Irene Khin Wong, Saffron 59 Catering
Time: 45 minutes
1 pound monkfish or cod fillets (or any white fish/chicken)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon curry powder, optional
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh Thai chili pepper, seeds included
2 teaspoons Southeast Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
12 baby bibb lettuce leaves
1 tablespoon shredded fresh kaffir lime leaves, if desired.
1. Cut fish into 1/2-inch chunks. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, turmeric, paprika, curry powder, ginger, garlic, chili pepper and fish sauce. Mix well. Add fish pieces, and toss until well coated. Let marinate 15 minutes.
3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Heat oil, and add onions. Sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add fish mixture, and sauté until fish is opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.
4. Spoon into lettuce cups, and place three cups on each of 4 plates. Garnish with kaffir lime leaves, and serve with steamed red rice or brown jasmine rice, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.