Once you learn about a new ingredient, like five-spice powder, the best way to get to know it is to cook with it. To experiment with China's most popular spice blend, consider this recipe. The five-spice powder gives the fish a sweet, spicy, and pungent flavor.
A quick and simple slaw consisting of napa cabbage, scallions, and soy sauce is an ideal crunchy companion to the dish. If you can't find snapper, substitute another firm-fleshed fish. To get the recipe keep reading.
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
Four 6-ounce red snapper fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium head napa cabbage (about 1-3/4 pounds), shredded
1 bunch of scallions (8 to 10), cut into thirds, then shredded lengthwise into matchsticks
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
- In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Score the skin side of the fish with a few crosshatch marks to keep it from curling. Season the fish with salt, pepper, and the five-spice powder. Put the fish in the skillet, skin side down, and cook, turning once, until it’s no longer raw in its thickest part, about 4 minutes on each side.
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. When the oil ripples, add the ginger, garlic and cabbage. Wilt and sear the cabbage for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the scallions and cook for another minute.
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar and honey. Toss the cabbage to coat evenly with the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pile the ginger-scallion cabbage on dinner plates and top with the red snapper.
- Main Dishes, Fish