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Recipe of the week: Asian innovations
When prepared well, steamed fish is more than just "good for you."
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teamed fish is the type of food you typically only eat because it’s good for you, said Melissa Clark in The New York Times. Recently, though, “I found myself fantasizing” about a dish I’d devoured in a Chinese restaurant—a glistening steamed flounder covered in julienned ginger root and scallions. For weeks afterward, “that ginger-steamed flounder swam around in my brain.” Here’s my re-creation of that wonderful dish—robustly flavored, easy to make, and still pretty good for you.

Recipes of the week

Quick Steamed Flounder
With Ginger-Garlic Mustard Greens

1 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
1 tsp roasted sesame oil, more for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, minced
One 1-inch-thick slice of peeled fresh ginger root, minced
2 small bunches mustard greens, cleaned, stemmed, and torn into pieces
1 tbsp soy sauce, more for drizzling
2 flounder fillets, 12 ounces each
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oils in very large skillet. Add garlic and ginger; sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mustard greens, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons water; sauté until greens start to wilt, 2 minutes longer.

Spread greens out in pan. Season flounder with salt and pepper; place on top of greens. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium, and let fish steam until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. If pan dries out before fish is cooked through, add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time. Uncover pan and transfer fish to serving plates. If greens seem wet, turn heat to high to cook off excess moisture. Serve greens on top of fish, drizzled with a little more sesame oil and soy sauce, if desired. Serves 2.

Rice Cooker Bibimbap With Salmon and Spinach
Here’s another nutritious, easy-to-make dish featuring steamed fish, said Julia Moskin, also in the Times. To make this meal, you’ll need an inexpensive rice cooker.

10 oz leaf spinach, fresh or frozen
Roasted sesame oil
Rice vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz salmon fillet, sliced ¼-inch thick across the grain
1 cup rice, preferably medium- or short-grain, rinsed
1 long hot green pepper, thinly sliced
3 tbsp kimchi, finely chopped
2 eggs
Kochujang or another Asian chili paste such as sambal or chili bean
paste
Sesame seeds and finely chopped scallions, for garnish

Using steamer function, steam spinach in rice cooker until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove to kitchen towel, wring dry, and thinly slice into bowl. Season to taste with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and salt. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper; steam until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Break into large flakes.

Clean cooker; cook rice according to instructions. When done, quickly stir in sliced pepper and kimchi, making sure to scrape and scoop up bottom layer of rice. Smooth top. Drizzle 2 tsp sesame oil over rice; gently break eggs on top, placing one on each side of cooker. Cover and put cooker on “cook” function for 5 minutes. Switch cooker to “warm”; arrange salmon and spinach next to eggs; cover and let steam just until egg whites are opaque (yolks should be runny). Place 1 teaspoon chili paste in center.

At table, stir dish together. (A toasty crust may have formed on bottom of rice cooker; scrape this up and mix into dish.) Scoop into serving bowls, sprinkling each with sesame seeds and scallions. Pass sesame oil, rice vinegar, and chili paste for seasoning. Serves 3 to 4.

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