So yesterday at lunch I went to the local fishmonger looking for something new to cook and was put onto something called coral trout. “What should I do with this,” I asked.
The reply was emphatic: “Steam it.”
Putting the call out to Twitter, the advice – thanks, tweeps – was the same: “Steam it.”
So steaming it was to be, and wa-hey, that worked out well. I give you … Coral Trout a la Prick:
Not the most hyper-stylised photo, but it was damn tasty (Mrs Prick loved it) and worth a go for anyone looking for some easy and, yes, healthy weeknight cooking. Here’s how:
- Get a couple of pieces (around 200g) coral trout filet, remove any pin bones, and trim off any untidy edges. Leave them to marinate in a bowl for about half an hour with about a cup or so of sherry, a tablespoon or so brown sugar, some spring onions, ginger, and a slug of soy (don’t leave them for longer or the marinade will start to “cook” the fish, but do save the marinade – you’ll want it later).
- When you’re ready to cook, set a steamer over a gently-to-moderately bubbling pot of water and place the fish in, skin side down, on some baking paper.
- In another pan or wok, quickly sauté some Asian greens – your choice but I used a spinach-ey type number that worked well – in a hot pan of peanut oil and toss through with some more ginger and green onions. Set aside.
- When the fish is ready – it shouldn’t need more than 12 minutes, but check it as you get to ten – remove it from the steamer and sear it, skin side down, in a hot pan. Add the reserved marinade, plus some chopped coriander and, if you like (and I did) some chopped long red chili, seeds removed naturally, to cook down to a light sauce. Squeezing half an orange at this point is also a good idea.
- Plate up! Greens just offset on the plate, fish leaning against it, sauce around, and a bit more coriander and chili for colour.
Bonus fun coral trout fact: According to Fishing WA, “the coral trout is, of course, not a trout at all but a fierce reef dwelling predator [whose] table qualities are matched only by its power over short bursts.” Yum!
That looks good – the missus makes a steamed fish meal once a week for omega purposes, but it tends to be salmon steaks. Nice, but this looks like a good alternative.
My meals tend more towards roasted or ragout-like at this time of year, so I’ll leave this to her…. or wait should I show my initiative and knock this up myself? Conundrum.
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It’s a grouper, so of course it’s amazing. As a fellow expat originally from Florida, these guys’ cousins are served batter fried on sandwiches there…for the price here, though…batter fry for the best f&c ever.
Coral Trout is just wonderful. For a real treat, get a whole one live from the tank at a Chinese restaurant, and have them steam it for you. The Chinese like to dress the fish with coriander and sliced green shallot, and pour over hot peanut oil. Best with cold pressed oil that smells like peanuts.
If you see it, red emperor is just as good.
I should get the Golden Century folk to do that …