white fish with rice wine sauce

Originally styled “Halibut in Rice Wine” on allrecipes.com, I think any white fish will do for this recipe. Perhaps even a good thick salmon steak. I made this dish by baking instead of grilling the fish and using basa instead of halibut. I’m a great believer in using whatever fish is available at the supermarket. The sauce, you could also say, isn’t even the expected color for a rice wine based sauce. That’s because there is black bean and soy sauce in it. It came out rather sweetish because of the mirin. I think if you prefer it more tart, then add more rice vinegar.

INGREDIENTS:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon black bean sauce
1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
6 (4 ounce) fillets halibut, skin removed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oil in a 10 inch non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic gently until fragrant, but not brown. Stir in black bean sauce, rice wine, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar; taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.

2. Pat fish dry. Brush with sesame oil and sprinkle with pepper. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate.

3. Grill fish for about 5 minutes per side, or just until cooked through.  Cook’s note: I baked the fish in a 350˚F oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully so that they don’t get overdone. Thinner fillets like basa cook up faster than thicker fillets. The rule is that the fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

4. To serve, spoon sauce on a fillet and sprinkle with cilantro.

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