Tuesday, December 11, 2012

That Mahi-Mahi Again

Remember a few weeks ago when I did the mahi-mahi from the Cook Islands and forgot one of the key ingredients? That whole incident has been bugging me ever since. Because, if you remember correctly, I cooked up that whole meal and then forgot to fry up the garnish to go on top, which actually seemed like it might be a make-or-break factor in the finished dish.

So I got some mahi-mahi the last time I was at Safeway, and about a week ago I repeated the recipe, with a couple of exceptions.

Here's the original ingredient list:

Moana-Roa Mahi Mahi

  • 7 ounces mahi mahi
  • 2 cups coconut cream
  • 1 cup cooked taro leaves*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger slivers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Two green bananas
  • Two taro roots, diced
  • Vegetable oil
So here are the exceptions I made this time:

1. I used spinach instead of taro leaves, which is actually what I did last time because there really is no good source around here for taro leaves.

2. I used coconut milk instead of coconut cream, because evidently coconut cream only keeps in the fridge for two days and then it becomes a curdled, disgusting mess.

3. I just made green bananas instead of green bananas with taro root, because I wasn't actually terribly fond of the taro root.

And the instructions again, if you need them, which I actually followed this time:

  1. Saute half of the onion with one garlic clove in a small amount of oil. When the onion is translucent, add the taro leaves (or spinach, which is what I used) and 1 cup of the coconut cream. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the leaves are tender. (Taro leaves take some time to cook, while spinach will be ready pretty quickly). Add a squeeze of lemon and set aside, keeping warm.
  2. Saute the other half of the onion and the other garlic clove in a medium-sized pot. Meanwhile, rub the fish fillets with salt and pepper and add to the onion and garlic. Pour another cup of coconut cream into the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the fish is done (12 to 15 minutes).
  3. Heat a little more oil in a small pan and fry one tablespoon of slivered ginger with the lemon zest. Keep stirring to avoid burning the zest. When the ginger is crispy, remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, bring two large pots of water to a boil. Add the diced taro root to one pot and the green bananas to the other (leave the peels on the bananas). Boil the taro root until it is fork-tender, and the bananas until the skins start to split (they should also be tender). Let cool, then peel the bananas and slice.
  5. Spoon the taro leaves (or spinach) onto each serving plate. Place a piece of fish onto the leaves and then garnish with the fried ginger and lemon zest and some freshly-ground pepper. Surround the fish with the taro root and banana and serve. 
Here's what this mahi mahi is actually supposed to look like:

With the main difference between this and my last attempt being those crispy little fried bits of ginger and lemon/lime zest that you can see on top.

They made a world of difference, actually, transforming an otherwise bland dish into a really tasty one. It just needed that little hint of lemon and ginger to bring it to life, which is exactly what I suspected when I originally made it.

I served it with rice this time, too, just to round it out. 

And yes, I feel much better now.


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