I had my hands on some very nice farmed seabass recently and I felt like something light but tasty. One of the skills learned from my brother Karl-Heinz, many years ago, was throwing together a spicy broth. This is generally put together from things we have in the fridge or larder and is great with pile of noodles and some veg, prawns etc. It’s a quick and simple thing that can be varied to taste and available ingredients – not a recipe as such just a bit of this and that.
I decided to to cut the seabass fillets into pieces and steam them along with some sugar snap peas. The addition of some prawn dumplings was for a bit of comfort. Our lovely ‘Chef Skinnies’ does love his dumplings and his cooking so I can see us making these with him next time he’s over.
Now, I know you can buy very good dumplings ready for steaming and in lieu of that you can buy the wrappers – but there is something about making them that makes me happy, they aren’t as perfect as the shop ones but hey…
For a vibrant crunch, Rocket made ‘spaghetti’ – he actually made the lovley even strands by using a spiralizing gadet bought for him by Baguette, Kisser, Hugger, Canary, Awkward and City – I give them a mention as he was very pleased with the lovely gift! Back to the tale…
For the spaghetti, I put 4 table spoons of rice wine vinegar and 4 tablespoons of water into a pan with a dessert spoon of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt, brought it to a bubble and then let it cool a little before placing the cucumber and carrot strings into it for about 10 minutes.
Whilst that was going on I steamed the bass for about 5 minutes, adding the sugar snaps for the final 2 minutes.
For the broth, I put a pint of water into a saucepan and then added the ingredients below, brought it to the boil and then simmered for about 20/ 30 minutes with the lid on, before straining through a sieve.
A few fresh coriander stalks – with roots if possible.
2 red chilli’s sliced – (checked for heat first as they vary…but this was meant to be a broth with a kick).
1 garlic clove thinly slliced.
About an inch of ginger, skin on sliced.
A couple of shallots, roughly chopped.
A bit of carrot
Lemon grass, roughly chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 tablespoons of fish sauce ( Or light soy)
2 kaffir lime leaves – dried or fresh
2 star anise
At the end of the cooking time, I added a little palm sugar, and another squeeze of lime – checked the salt level and adjusted.
For the dumplings:
I took some raw tiger prawns, de-veined them and placed them into a bowl. Next I finely chopped some ginger and added that to the prawns along with a sprinkling of fish sauce. Then I covered them and popped them into the fridge.
For the dough, I mixed 1/2 cup of plain flour with 1/4 tsp salt and then added warm water – just enough to bring it together into a smooth dough. Then I wrapped the dough with cling film and set aside to rest for 1/2 an hour.
When the dough was rested, I cut the mixture into even portions, rolled them into balls, pressed flat and then rolled them out into very thin discs – thinner than you would think because they puff out when you steam them.
I popped the prawn mixture onto the discs and then folded over sealing with a fork. Cover them in cling film and let them rest again.
I steamed them for 5/6 minutes before plating up with the steamed bass, sugar snaps and the pickled veg.
Please do comment…