Hanoi-braised Fish, Broccoli & Noodles

I’ve reached my latest milestone! It’s my last week in Chicago, so I’ve been making a variety of kid-inspired dishes. My nephews enjoy eating fish, so today I tried my version of a ‘Hanoi braised fish with noodles’ dish, adapted from ”Asian Cooking’ by Williams Sonoma.

The only flamboyant spice in this dish is turmeric, which adds the characteristic yellow hue to the fish in addition to it’s flavor. I added a few different vegetables to the mix and replaced the rice noodles with whole wheat noodles. I topped off the dish with unsalted dry-roasted chopped peanuts and lemon juice (i.e. a hint of pad thai). The dish came out colorful, tasty and satisfying with a nod of approval from my most discerning food critics!

The recipe makes enough for 5-6 people. I started the recipe with the fish marinade, then cooked the noodles and the vegetables and finally, cooked the fish and combined everything together. The recipe calls for catfish, however, I used mahi-mahi. I also replaced black peppercorns with red, white and green peppercorns, and seasoned the whole wheat noodles with soy sauce. I made some minor modifications to the recipe to suit our tastes….enjoy!

Ingredients:

Fish & Marinade

  • 4 catfish or mahi-mahi fillet, fresh or defrosted (if frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon rainbow pepper (red, white and green peppercorns), roasted and finely ground
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder (haldi powder)

Defrost the fish, rinse with cold water and pat dry. If you’re using fresh fish, then simply rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Combine the olive oil, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper and turmeric in a large non-metallic bowl. Add the fish fillets to the bowl. Ensure each piece is coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or 1 hour in the fridge.

Noodles

  • 6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 6-10 cups of water
  • 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium

While the fish is marinating, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the noodles from the packet, stirring occasionally. After approximately 10 minutes, check that the noodles are cooked, then drain the noodles and season with 1-2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Set aside.

Vegetables

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 2-3 large broccoli stems, cut stalks into 3 or 4-inch segments and discard tough ends of stem
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of water
  • pinch of salt

In a large wide bottomed pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, then the chopped onions. Stir for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, broccoli and a pinch of salt. Stir for a minute. Add 3/4 cup of water and place the lid on the pan. Reduce the heat to medium. After 3-4 minutes, remove the lid and stir. If the water has evaporated, add another 1/4 cup of water and cover the pan with the lid again for another 2-3 minutes. You’re essentially steam cooking the broccoli with as little water as possible remaining at the end.  Then turn the heat off and remove the broccoli from the pan with it’s juices. Set aside.

Cooking the Fish

  • 10-15 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of water
  • pinch of salt
  • fish and marinade
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tabelspoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
  • juice of one fresh lemon

In the same large wide bottomed pan, over medium high heat, add the olive oil, then the chopped onions. Stir for a few minutes. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Add a 1/2 cup of water. Then place the fish fillets one at a time over the contents of the pan. Pour any remaining marinade from the bowl over each fillet. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Allow the fish to simmer for 3-4 minutes on the first side. Then carefully flip each fillet over using a spatula. Sprinkle in the dill and cilantro and cover the pan. Allow fish to simmer for another 3-4 minutes longer until cooked through.

To serve, pour the fish and sauce over the noodles. Then add the broccoli, sprinkle the peanuts and lemon juice on top.

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