This straightforward method of preparing fish offers a great alternative to more common preparations. The poaching process is simple and nearly foolproof, as temperature is held constant throughout the process. Tripletail is our choice this month, but the same method works with any firm, densely textured fish.
The Thai-inspired broth, used here as a sauce, also makes a great base for soup. Add bits of fish, mushrooms or vegetables, and you have a fast soup and a great lunch. Specialty items, like lemongrass, Kaffir lime and fish sauce, are best sourced from an Asian market.
You might need to catch a tripletail first.
- 4, 6-ounce tripletail fillets
- 1 cup salt
- 10 cups cold water
- olive oil
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken, lobster or fish stock
- 3⁄4 oz. lemongrass stalks, smashed
- 1 jalapeño, halved
- 3⁄4 oz. ginger, sliced thin
- 2 Kaffir lime leaves
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
Squash and Mushrooms
- pumpkin or butternut squash
- chanterelle mushrooms
- Brine fish in 10 percent salt solution for one hour. Can also brine with apple juice, chilies or aromatics.
- Pat fillets dry and dress lightly with oil.
- Roll them in three or four layers of plastic wrap, twist the ends tight, (like a toffee), and tie them off with twine.
- Place wrapped fillets in 170-degree water in a large saucepan and hold temperature for 15 minutes.
- Combine coconut milk, stock, lemongrass, jalapeño, ginger and Kaffir in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer seven to 10 minutes.
- Strain and season with fish sauce and lime juice.
- While the broth is simmering, peel a pumpkin or butternut squash and cut into french fry-size strips.
- Pan roast them in butter until browned, then cover with water and cook until tender.
- Roast chanterelle mushrooms in butter or canola oil. Set aside.
- Remove fish fillets from water bath and test for doneness with a cake tester.
- Snip one end of the plastic food wrap and squeeze fish onto a bed of squash and mushrooms. Garnish with same and spoon broth over the top of the fillet.