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La Belle Cuisine - More Fish Recipes

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West Lake Fish
(Poached Halibut with Hot-and-Sour Sauce)



SeaBear Smokehouse
Hook and line caught Alaskan Halibut at SeaBear.com

"A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness."
~ Elsa Schiaparelli

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Cormorant, Fisherman, China
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Adams, Peter
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La Belle Cuisine


West Lake Fish

(Poached Halibut with Hot-and-Sour Sauce)
Gourmet February 1993

Three 3/4-inch-thick halibut steaks (about 1 pound)
6 slices fresh gingerroot, each about the size of a
quarter, flattened with side of cleaver, plus
1/4 cup finely shredded peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sake
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
6 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar or
Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 cup finely shredded scallion greens
A 2-inch fresh hot red or green chili pepper,
seeded, minced (wear rubber gloves)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in
2 tablespoons cold water

Arrange the halibut steaks in a shallow dish just large enough to hold them
in one layer. In a small bowl stir together the sliced gingerroot, 3 table-
spoons rice wine, and salt, pinch the gingerroot to extract the flavor. Pour
the mixture over the halibut and let the halibut marinate, covered and
chilled, for 30 minutes. In a skillet just large enough to hold the halibut in
one layer heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking, add the boiling water and the remaining 1/2 cup rice wine, and bring the liquid to a boil. Arrange the halibut in the skillet, add
any remaining marinade and bring the liquid to a boil. Remove the skillet
from the heat and let the halibut poach, covered, for 15 minutes, or until
it just flakes. (If the halibut is not done, return the skillet to the heat and continue to cook over low heat). Transfer the halibut with a spatula to a platter, reserving the poaching liquid, and keep it warm, covered.
Discard the slices of gingerroot from the reserved poaching liquid and in
 bowl whisk together 1 cup of the poaching liquid, the soy sauce, sugar,
vinegar, and pepper, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. In a wok or
deep heavy skillet heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderately
high heat until it is hot but not smoking, add the scallions, remaining 1/4
cup shredded gingerroot, and the chili, and stir-fry the mixture for 30
seconds. Stir in the soy mixture and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir the
cornstarch mixture and add it to the wok. Cook the sauce, stirring con-
tantly, until it has thickened and pour it over the halibut. Serves 4 to 6.

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