Poached Cod with Ginger Garlic Broth and Udon


Poached Cod in Garlic Ginger Broth with Udon and finished with a dash of Furikake and a drizzle of eel sauce.

A few months back we tried out Blue Apron to sample different types of cuisine without having to spend a fortune on pantry items, to reduce midweek trips to the grocery store and to cut down on the amount of produce we waste weekly. As it turns out, we wound up only cooking a few of the recipes and just stuck the protein in the freezer and used the produce for other stuff. Nothing against Blue Apron itself as a concept it just didn’t work for our lifestyle and schedules. My wife works from home mostly and I have a schedule that fluctuates. There’s quite a few evenings where I’m not home for dinner or to make dinner, we wound up just not cooking many of the meals.

Blue Apron did help us break out of our rut of chicken breasts, steaks, and salmon as our sole protein sources and Blue Apron helped me realize I don’t hate all squash or cod and I still really hate beets. I would recommend Blue Apron for novice cooks and folks trying to branch out and try more diverse cuisines. Most of the meals can be prepared within an hour and they try to have things cook in 1 pan. Which is great for folks just starting out or in a dorm where they may not have made the investment in a lot of kitchen gear. That said, if the previous does not apply to you, you can save a lot of time by multi-tasking through a recipe and using a couple of pots and pans to prepare the different parts of the dish.

But what does any of that have to do with poached cod? Well the Mrs. said that the wants to try pescatarianism again and I mentioned that we still had some cod in the freezer left over from our Blue Apron days. The question then became what to do with it using stuff we already had in the pantry and fridge. Our panty probably isn’t typical, we are blessed to live in an extremely diverse area of Southern California so we can access these ingredients fairly easily. You will need to to have access to a decent Asian grocery store. I’ve seen miso paste, toasted nori and furikake at Safeway/Vons and of course carrots, ginger, scallions, and garlic are available in the produce department. Sometimes you can find udon. I’ve seen udon at some Whole Foods, Vons/Safeway and Wegmans (for those Mid-Atlantic folks). They probably do have a selection of dried mushrooms, but it’s been my experience that they’re are wildly over-priced outside of Asian markets. You will also need an Asian Market for eel sauce and Kombu stock, this is also where I find sachets (usually on the tea aisle). If you can’t find eel sauce, then a drizzle of soy sauce or oyster sauce will give a nice fermented saltiness.

The poached cod is on the lighter side with no added fat though there is a good amount of sodium from the kombu and miso. If you want something lower carb you could easily add more vegetables and leave out the udon all together. If you want something with a little more heat you can add Sriracha or garlic chili paste or some dried chilies to the poaching liquid. This is also a quickish weeknight meal which you can have prepped and on the table in about 30  minutes so long as the fish is thawed.

Ingredients

1  Qt water for poaching

4 cups water to cook udon

1TBS White Miso Paste

½ cup dried shitake mushrooms that have been steeped in hot water

2 TBS scallions

2 TBS julienned carrot

½ cup shredded napa cabbage

2 3oz Cod fillet or white fish of you choice deboned and skin removed

2  packets of kombu stock ( I get mine from Daiso)

1 head of garlic

3 nickel sized slices of ginger that have been smashed with the flat side of a knife

1 sheet of toasted nori

2 star anise

2 lemon sliices and juice of half a lemon

eel sauce and furikake for garnish

To start, place dried mushrooms in a deep bowl and cover with boiled water. Let steep until they are soften. This will take about 15 minutes. While mushrooms are steeping, julienne the carrots, cut the napa and chop the scallion.

Mise en place of reconstituted shitakes, napa cabbage, julienned carrots, scallions, garlic, ginger, anise and lemon slices

Strain the mushrooms reserving the liquid and set the mushrooms aside. Bring 1QT of water to a boil and add the leftover liquid from the mushrooms, kombu stock packets, miso, garlic, ginger, star anise, lemon slices, lemon juice and sheet of nori and let boil.

 

Kombu stock, nori, and sachet of garlic, ginger, lemon and anise coming to a boil.

In another pot bring 4 cups of water to boil.  Reduce the heat on the boiling stock  to a slow simmer and add the fish fillets. It will take about 6-8 minutes to poach. Quickly blanch the julienned carrots and strain retaining the boiling water. Set aside the carrots and add the udon noodles. Udon usually cooks in 2-3 minutes. Remove the fish from the broth and reserve the broth. Strain the udon. Divide the udon between 2 soup bowls and place a fish fillet on top, add vegetables to each bowl and cover with the poaching broth. Garnish with furikake and eel sauce.

 

Passion Fruit (aka Lilikoi) Chiffon Pie

Lilikoi Chiffon Pie served with sweetened whipped cream and seasonal fruit

Individual Lilikoi Chiffon Pie served with sweetened whipped cream and seasonal fruit

I was wandering around a local grocery store a few days ago and found fresh passion fruit. My Aunty Ivy made an amazing Lilikoi Chiffon Pie, though I often wonder how she had time to be such a great cook and baker. She was a world class swimmer, she was a lifelong volunteer for Hawaii’s Special Olympics program, a teacher and just an all around good egg. You can read more about my Aunty Ivy here. On a trip back to the Mainland a few years ago, she sent Kim and I home with an entire pie and it served as breakfast on our 10 hour flight back to NJ from HI. Sadly, my Aunty lost her lengthy battle with cancer last year and I don’t have her recipe. I’m pretty sure at one point her recipe was published but I was not able to track it down for this post. With that said, here’s my version of Lilikoi Chiffon Pie.

To start the pie you will need to have a prepared pie crust. I opted for a Graham Cracker Coconut crust. You can make this in a standard 9″ pie plate. You’ll need 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs, 1 stick of butter, ¼ cup of sugar, dash of salt and ¼ cup of finely shredded toasted coconut. In a large bowl combine, sugar, coconut, salt and graham cracker crumbs. Melt the stick of butter and let cool. Add the cooled butter to the crumb mixture and blend together. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and side of the pie plate and bake the crust at 370 for 7 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Let the crust cool on a cooling rack then store in the fridge.

You can still make this recipe even if you do not have access to fresh lilikoi. Whole Foods carries a decent lilikoi juice made by Ceres and ethnic markets may carry frozen lilikoi pulp. I removed the pulp from 8 passion fruits and augmented that with 1 cup of the Ceres Juice, I simmered the mixture until it was reduced by ½. This took about 45 minutes. I blended the mixture down with a stick blender then strained it to remove the seeds and set it aside to cool. I intentionally made more juice than the pie requires because I’m going to make lilikoi curd for a later post.

I bloomed 1 packet of Knox gelatin in ¼ cup of passion fruit juice. You can use plain water or lemon juice as well. While the gelatin is blooming I cooked 4 egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar in a double boiler over water at a slow boil until it had thickened and the sugar was dissolved, this takes about 5-8 minutes. You will need to whisk this constantly so make sure you have every thing prepped before you start this step. Once the mixture thickened I pulled it from the heat and added the gelatin and whisked until the gelatin was thoroughly incorporated. Then I added ½ cup of lilikoi juice and 2TBS of lemon juice and let the mixture sit at room temperature to cool. Once the mixture cools, Whip 4 egg whites, to soft peaks slowly working in ¼ cup of sugar continue to whip to firm peaks. Fold ¼ of the egg whites into the lilikoi mixture until  the egg whites are fully incorporated. Keep adding egg whites and folding in until all the egg whites have been encorporated. Pour mixture into the prepared pie shell and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving Finish pie with sweetened whip cream.

Ingredients
Crust

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

1 stick of melted and cooled unsalted butter

¼ cup toasted and shredded coconut

¼ cup sugar

dash of salt

Chiffon pie filling

4 whole eggs separated with the whites and yolks retained

½ cup sugar

1 packet of unflavored gelatin

¼ cup liquid to bloom gelatin

½ cup lilikoi pulp/nectar/juice

Whip Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla