Szechuan Spicy Fish "Tingled and Peppery Fish"
This is one of my absolute favorite dishes! I am addicted. It's definitely not for everyone. The flavors are STRONG and it's a bit spicy. Plus the Szechuan peppercorns have a strange tingly, numbing effect when you bite them. However, I LOVE spicy, strong dishes, so here it is.
We typically do this with a whole Pompano fish. You can usually find them in most fish markets, Asian markets or at your local fish monger. If you can't find pompano, you could use cod or perch or any whole fish that you really like. It's best to pick one that comes off the bones easily as it is difficult to eat bony ones. (We tried this with a milkfish once, and we are still recovering!)
This is a golden pompano We buy it whole and have the fish monger clean it.
Now, there are many different flavor packs you can use. My most favorite is incredibly difficult to find, so I stock up when I see it. There are several other options that are (almost) just as tasty.
This package (above) is my absolute favorite...if you see this man, buy all you can! (We call this "Fat Man" seasoning.) Also, make sure you read the back of the package... The translation is priceless!
Below are a few other types that will also work. You can find them in the Asian market in the 'hot pot' section. You want the Szechuan style 'spicy'.
This is what is inside the package. It's VERY strong smelling, but SO GOOD!
Here is the line up of our ingredients. You will need:
1 bunch of green onions
1/2 - 1 bunch of cilantro (or flat leaf parsley if you don't have / don't like cilantro)
1 bulb of peeled garlic
10ish thin slices of fresh ginger
bamboo shoots (optional, but oh so good!) I like the ones in the refrigerator section preserved in chili oil
whatever veggie you like (we are using broccoli this time, but anything will work - spinach, pea greens, etc)
1 cup of water
splash of dry sherry, rice wine or sake
First you will cut skin deep slices all the way down the fish on both sides. Make them about 1 1/2" apart. This helps get the flavor throughout the fish, and also helps it cook evenly.
Then fry up about 3 heaping tablespoons (or approximately half the package) of the seasoning in a frying pan with the garlic & ginger
Once it's nice and fried up. Deglaze the pan with about 1cup of water & a splash of sake, rice wine or dry sherry. Tyson likes the Sherry best, but we had sake on hand this time, and it works just fine!
Once you've got it all loosened up, place your green onions in the pan.
Then place the fish on top of your onions.
Once the fish is in, cover it with the cilantro (or parsley).
And then the bamboo shoots (we used about 1/4 of the package.)
Cover & cook the fish until it's tender (if you stick a fork into the meaty part of the fish and pull it out, the fish should not 'grab' the fork...if it comes out easily, it's done....approximately 30 minutes at a simmer.)
Serve immediately with rice, XO sauce & pickles (recipe coming soon).