Chef Bao

219 RECIPES

Simple recipes for everyday home cooking

Pan Sear Branzini with Coconut Vegetables

Meet the perfect fish, Branzino, to accompany a melody of veggies cooked in a scant amount of scallion, ginger, lemongrass, Fresno Chili Pepper and pickled green pepper sprigs with a chicken broth and coconut milk base. This Mediterranean sea bass is delicate and mild with an almost nutty and sweet taste. For an impressive serving presentation, stack the seared fish fillets on the veggies and top with fried potato strings.

CUISINES: New American
LEVEL: EASY
SERVING: 2 People
TIME: 30 min
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tbsp Shallot
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Lemongrass
  • 1 medium Fresh Fresno Chili Pepper
  • 1 cup Zucchini
  • ½ cup Grape Tomatoes
  • For the Fish
  • 1 lb. Whole Branzino
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • For the Vegetables
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 sprigs Pickled Young Green Pepper
  • cup Snow Peas
  • ½ cup Coconut Milk
  • ½ cup Chicken Broth
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Lime, Juiced
  • ¼ cup Fried Potato Slices
DIRECTIONS:
Step 1
Step 1
Step 1
Prepare vegetables by first thinly slicing shallot. Cut skin off ginger and thinly slice, then julienne cut. Place both on a plate.
Step 2
Step 2
Step 2
Cut the zucchini in half and then half again, remove the fleshy center, and cut diagonally. Make diagonal cuts to lemongrass.
Step 3
Step 3
Step 3
Cut in half the red chili pepper and remove the seeds. Place the vegetables on a plate, set aside. Cut the tomatoes in half, and place in a bowl, set aside.
Step 4
Step 4
Step 4
Prepare fish by removing the scales and internal organs and clean with water.
Step 5
Step 5
Step 5
Using the tip of the knife tightly cut from the edge of the gills from the head to the tail of the spine, then follow the direction from the tail to head, fillet the fish. Flip the fish and repeat the same actions. Cut the head off. Remove and discard the bones.
Step 6
Step 6
Step 6
On the fish skin-side, lightly cut shallow slits across the skin, sprinkle salt and pepper on the skin side, and pat lightly into skin and slits. Add salt and pepper to the meat side.
Step 7
Step 7
Step 7
Pat the marinated fish fillets with paper towel to dry because the oil will splash when it meets water. Also, if there's too much water will decrease the oil temperature immediately. This will in turn impact the sear time and the color of the fish.
Step 8
Step 8
Step 8
Preheat a medium to large cast-iron skillet on low to medium heat, as this is very important, otherwise the fish will stick to the pan. After heated, add oil, lightly add the fillets to the pan, press the surface of the fillets with the spatula. Sear for 8-10 minutes.
Step 9
Step 9
Step 9
Meanwhile, in another medium skillet, heat and then add oil. Add vegetables one by one that are on the plate, and toss contents of pan.
Step 10
Step 10
Step 10
Add tomatoes and stir-fry. Add pickled green pepper sprigs and snow peas, then toss. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper, then simmer and reduce. Add lime juice, turn off heat.
Step 11
Step 11
Step 11
When the fillets have finished cooking (8-10 minutes), the meat will be slightly raw in the thick part of the fish. Add butter and thyme to the fish pan, sprinkle salt and black pepper on the fillets. Flip the fillets, then turn off the heat immediately. It is not advisable to fry for too long after turning over.
Step 12
Step 12
Step 12
To serve, place vegetables on a serving plate, then stack fillets in a crisscross fashion on top of the vegetables. Now, top with the fried potatoes strings, a few pea pods, and editable flower pedals.
Final Notes
Final Notes
Fish Frying Tips: 1. Cutting the skin surface of the fish is when pan-frying, so it will not shrink too much. 2. Frying for too long will evaporate the water in the fish and affect the taste. 3. The whole process of frying fish cannot use high heat. 4. If the fish meat is very delicate, it is best to use medium and low heat to preserve the juice in the fish to the greatest extent. Chef's Notes: Prepare vegetables first in this recipe. Reasons being, if preparing both raw meat and vegetables, cut the vegetables first, clean the cutting board, then continue with cutting the meat. If you reverse order, it takes too much time to clean the raw meat off the cutting board. If the recipe has marinated meat, can cut meat first as there is time to clean the cutting board while it marinates.