by Grace Young
I was waiting with anticipation for this recipe to come up in rotation, for salmon is my favorite fish - we have it quite regularly.
Mise en place.
Bowl 1: Scallions, ginger
Bowl 2: Salmon, cornstarch, oil, garlic, dry sherry, sesame oil, black pepper, egg white, salt
Bowl 3: Chicken broth, dry sherry
Bowl 4: Straw mushrooms, carrots
Bowl 5: Chicken broth
Bowl 6: Salt
Bowl 7: Snow peas
Bowl 8: Sesame oil
Stir-frying fish takes a little finesse, for fish is quite delicate and will fall apart if tossed around the wok like you would do with a typical stir-fry. This is why the recipe calls for salmon with the skin left on - it will help hold it together as you gently give it a stir.
However... as I was slicing my salmon, the skin just did not appeal to me, and finding fish scales all over the place, I started thinking these little scales are going to stick to the back of my throat, and I'll be coughing all through dinner - so, off came the skin! And yes, my fish did fall apart somewhat - not too bad though.
Once the aromatics have been added to the wok and stir-fried until fragrant, the salmon is added in an even layer and left undisturbed (no stirring). The broth mixture is added along with the mushrooms and carrots and allowed to cook for a short time (one minute), still not stirring the fish, just ever so gently sliding a spatula under the fish to loosen it from the wok. The rest of the broth is added with the salt, and again gets cooked while leaving the fish undisturbed, aside from just loosening it again from the pan if needed. The fish is then very carefully turned over, and the snow peas are added, and the wok is covered, and the fish is allowed to cook just long enough until it is cooked through. The wok is uncovered, the sesame oil is added, and the contents are stirred ever so gently to combine everything together.
It's hard for me to admit, but I really did not care for this recipe (so sorry Grace!! However, Andy and a co-worker of ours did enjoy it). It just did not have enough bang for my tastes. I found the flavor of this dish to be subtle, and I was also expecting... a sauce; where my sauce was non-existent. I just had a vision of salmon drizzled with a wine (maybe even a cream) sauce.. I know, I know.
With regard to sauces in authentic Chinese cuisines, the sauce just coats the ingredients, not anything like our western counterparts, where it is swimming in a pool of liquid, and I'm quite happy with that. Can't win them all (most yes, with this book)!
Looking forward to the next recipe!
On a completely different note:
I've had the above condiment dish for I don't know how long, and I just noticed it has a fish in the belly of the fish! Did you notice it? I always felt there was something "off" about it. Ha ha ha.
Wok on my friends!!
We have been asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. If you would like the recipe, you will find it on page 162, of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find it at your local library. I highly recommend purchasing the book - you won't be disappointed.