Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Grilled Barramundi with Wasabi Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops in an Asian Broth

I love seafood and when I visited Australia recently I was in seafood heaven. With most of the Australian population residing in coastal areas, fish and seafood is popular. Apart from the 800 plus Outback Steakhouse restaurants which claim to be Australian restaurants, there aren’t many restaurants that actually serve a form of Australian cuisine.

In Australia, Barramundi is an iconic table fish revered across the whole country. It could be said that it is a quintessential Australian brand. This recipe totally reminds me of Australia. The flavor is unique and refreshing – salty, tangy, spicy. It’s a flavor explosion! And did I mention the scallops and shrimp? They really add to the dish. Now you don’t have to travel a bloody long way to get a taste of Australia.

Grilled Barramundi with Wasabi Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops in an Asian Broth
Serves 4

4 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cup chopped shrimp with tails, plus 4 whole, peeled and deveined
1 cup chopped scallops, plus 4 whole
4 shallots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup mirin
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
16 ounces water
1 ¼ cups chopped cilantro leaves
½ cup chopped basil leaves
3 green onions, chopped
½ carrot, chopped
4 (6-ounce) barramundi fillets, or substitute tilapia fillets
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon wasabi powder
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce (recommended: Sriracha)

Cook’s Note: You can substitute cod, tilapia or red snapper if you prefer.

In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons sesame oil over medium heat. To pan, add the chopped shrimp, chopped scallops, shallots and garlic. Cook until lightly golden. Add the mirin, soy sauce, rice vinegar and simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and 1 cup cilantro and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the broth until reduced by 1/3, about 20 minutes. Strain liquid and discard solids. Reserve the liquid.

Preheat grill or grill pan.

Combine the remaining cilantro, the basil, green onions and carrot in a bowl. Set aside.

Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and flakes easily. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the whole shrimp and scallops in wasabi and season with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium heat. Cook the whole shrimp and scallops until golden on both sides. Set aside.

Place ¼ teaspoon of the chili sauce in the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle some of the broth into each bowl. Stir to gently mix the broth and the chili sauce. Lay 1 fillet of fish into the broth, then surround the fish with 1 shrimp and 1 scallop. Garnish with chopped cilantro, basil, green onions and carrot mixture. Serve immediately.

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