Sunday, February 5, 2012

Halibut Cheeks Stir Fry

Robert's brother, Dan, who lives in Alaska, sent us the most amazing fish--fillets of salmon, halibut, and these halibut fish cheeks that we used in a stir fry.  We're lucky to have a sustainable source of fish.  Julie Auth of Wild Alaskan Salmon Company sells sustainable fish at the Sewickley Farmers' Market  during the summer and also does local deliveries. If wild Alaskan halibut isn't available, you could substitute farmed catfish or U.S. farmed talapia.  In that case, I'd just place the fish on top of vegetables rather than mixing it in the stir fry because the fish will be very flaky.  For more information on sustainable fish, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium website, which includes down-loadable pocket guides for the best sustainable fish to choose.

peanut (or other oil) for frying
1/2 to 1 pound white fish (see above), cut in 1/2 inch cubes.
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, sliced in rings
1 bunch broccoli, cut into flowerettes (about 3 cups)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup vegetable or fish broth
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Cooked rice for serving

Heat a large skillet or wok. Add oil so that it generously coats the bottom of the pan.  Heat until the oil sizzles when you place a drop of water in it.  Dredge fish in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.  Shake off excess flour and add to hot oil. Add as much fish as you can without crowding (you may need to do this in batches).  Fry the fish until it's golden and easily releases from the pan.  Turn and fry the pieces on both sides.  Place the fish on a plate lined with paper towels and drain all but about two tablespoons of the oil.
Add the garlic and onions and stir fry for about a minute.  Add the vegetables and stir fry until the color brightens, about five minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the broth, corn starch, hoisin sauce, honey and sesame oil.  Pour onto the vegetables and cook until the sauce thickens. Turn off heat, add the fish, and cover with a lid and let sit for about five minutes (or more--depending on how soft you want the vegetables).  Serve with rice and some hot sauce if you want a spicier dish.  Makes four generous servings.

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