Since my wife first discovered she was pregnant, we hadn’t had a whole lot of fish, and since Ramya was born, I’ve been vowing to fix that and get fish back into our regular line-up. I’ve had Asian sorts of flavors on my mind lately and armed with an ample supply of lemongrass, thought this was the perfect opportunity for a good, simple sauce that would go perfectly with a simply prepared white fish, in this case, Chilean Sea Bass.
The sauce was excellent–not a lot of it, but intensely flavored. The lemongrass-ginger-lemon combo was a great foil to the anisey flavor of the tarragon and the highly reduced wine and coconut syrup gave the sauce a great, full flavored back-bone. This, of course, is all a complement to the star: the fish. Since that is so simply prepared (sautéed in butter), you’ll want high quality fish or this will fall flat on its face. This is also the sort of dish where a glass of full flavored white wine would complement it nicely–I’m always a sucker for a good Sauvignon Blanc.
- 1 lb chilean sea bass
- 1 shallot
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 inch knob ginger
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- small handful tarragon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Begin with the sauce. Finely mince the shallot, garlic, and ginger and chop the lemongrass into ~1 inch segments, smashing those with the back of your knife to bruise them a bit. In a saucepan, melt some butter and then sauté the shallot for ~8 minutes. Then, add the garlic, ginger, and lemongrass for a minute further, at which point, you should deglaze with white wine.
Reduce this on medium heat for about 10 minutes to make the wine a bit more syruppy. At this point, pour the contents of the pot through a strainer, discarding the solids. Now, mix in the coconut milk, coarsely chopped tarragon, lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce this over low heat for 10-15 minutes more to thicken to your liking and concentrate the flavor.
While the sauce is cooking, you should cook the fish. This is very simple–ensure it is free of scale and bone, rub with salt, pepper, and allspice, and then brown on both sides in a pan with melted butter until cooked through, roughly ~5 minutes per side (very variable and depending on the thickness of your filet).
While the fish and sauce are cooking, work on your side dishes. I did coconut rice and butter sautéed rainbow chard.
Finally, with everything done cooking, drizzle the sauce over the fish and enjoy!