There’s something satisfying about not knowing what to cook for dinner, and whipping up a balanced meal in an hour on a weeknight. It’s like unexpectedly checking off a big task from your to-do list; it just feels good! Last week we had cod, but I didn’t want the plain, sauteed fish with the usual lemon and salt and pepper. Gets pretty boring after a while. So I improvised with what we had to give an Asian taste to the dinner. Since this is good for a weeknight meal, I’ll try to make this post brief! I didn’t measure most of the ingredients – this is more of a throw-it-all-together kind of dinner. A lot of the ingredients are used in both the fish and the rice. Feel free to substitute with whatever works best for you!
- A couple pounds of cod, haddock, or any white-fleshed fish
- One cup of dry, brown rice (yields 4 cups cooked)
- An inch or two of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- Approximately 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1 white onion, sliced for caramelizing
- 1 bunch watercress, stems chopped off
- 1/2 bunch lacinato kale, ripped in pieces from the center ribs (discard the tough ribs)
- Hoisin sauce (for the fish. Can substitute sesame oil, soy sauce, tamari, etc.)
Start the onions first, so they have plenty of time to caramelize. Heat some coconut or olive oil on a hot pan on low, then add the onions with a little salt to draw the moisture out. Be patient with them; caramelizing takes some time, but is well worth it. After a few minutes, add some of the grated ginger, setting the rest of the ginger aside for the fish. Leave the onions to cook slowly, stirring every now and then so they don’t stick. It’s also helpful to add more coconut oil – and even some coconut milk for more flavor – throughout the process, as well as a little more salt and some water. Eventually, they’ll start getting that brown-sugary look to them – yum!
Cook the rice according to the package’s instructions. Add a bit of coconut or olive oil to the water, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. When almost all the water is absorbed, add some coconut milk and continue cooking.
In a frying pan, heat some coconut milk and hoisin sauce, enough to basically cover the fish. Hoisin sauce has ginger, miso, sesame oil and garlic, and will give it a nice flavor. Add the salted fish with the rest of the grated ginger. Add more of the coconut milk & hoisin sauce mixture if needed to flavor all the fish. Cook for just a few minutes. When it’s ready, it should flake easily with a fork, and feel just slightly firm.
At this point, the rice and the onions should be just about done. Add the kale to the pan with the onions, and cook a couple minutes. When everything is done, add the onions, ginger, and kale to the rice and stir together. Put the raw watercress on a dish for the cod, and serve the cod on top of the watercress. Eat immediately and enjoy!