Friday, March 25, 2016

Korean-Style Fried Red Snapper

Sometimes I think about going vegetarian. Lately, I've been thinking about it a lot. I have a guilty personality - I feel bad about so many things - and lately the guilt has been concentrated on animal welfare and the environmental repercussions of factory farming and I think having a dog (who I love like a son) really gnaws away at my conscience. Sometimes I think I could give up beef and poultry and pork, but the one animal protein I think I'd have the hardest time giving up is fish. Wow, what a depressing introduction; my apologies. And I say that knowing that this weekend (Easter weekend), I'll be chowing down on a crapton of meat.

Anyway, I grew up eating a lot of fish (it's basically Korea's staple protein so my parents were really into it) and I love that depending on the type of fish you get, it not only tastes totally different, it has a completely different texture. Red snapper is high on my list for favorite fish because it's tender yet meaty, lends itself to several cuisines, is light enough to take on some bolder seasonings, and is accessible and affordable.
Ingredients [serves 2]:
1 snapper filet
¼ cup potato starch
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 scallion, chopped
2 tablespoons hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
4 Thai chilis, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil

This is probably the easiest dish ever. Basically, you just dust the snapper with some potato starch and pan fry it. Then, you mix the seasoning ingredients (soy sauce, sesame oil, scallion, hot pepper flakes, sesame seeds, garlic, and Thai chilis) and then you just spoon the seasoning over the fish. And, it's nice to leave the seasoning on the table so everyone can add more if they like.

Typically this dish is made with whole snapper and the skin gets crisp. However, then you have to deal with the bone and the scales and whatnot. So, I prefer the filets.
The fish is tender and soft and basically like a delicious sponge that soaks up the seasonings so well. It's my favorite fish.
Here's the recipe page:

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