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Poached Cod in Preserved Garlic Sauce



poached cod / preserved-garlic / Thai-dish / steamed-fish / food-recipe





Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit - La CoffeeMelodie Suite


Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit:

A Thai soprano from head to toe with an attitude of a no-nonsense entrepreneur with innovative ideas and, sometimes, shocking approaches, who fits the phrase "been there, done that" perfectly, and is looking forward to new challenges. A leader, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and, a chef-ME-NOT. All makes a person who turns every situation into a learning experience, and, is super charged with positive energy.


Perfect for all seasons and all family members. Watch the slide show video and check out a simple and easy-to-follow guide for this delicious dish.


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Poached Cod in Preserved Garlic Sauce




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Since I'm in between projects and can spend more time at home right now, I turn attention to both Web site work and making sure that our children are clean and well fed. The cleaning part is on-going and repetitious, so I don't have to put too much thought into it. But it's the feeding part that takes some inspiration and imagination in order to be creative and give me something exciting to do.


One can cook because it's a duty. I cook because it's fun and keeps the creative side of the brain sharpened. Not to mention other plusses from just having fun. Regardless how my creation turns out, it is self-fulfilling, and I love the beaming smiles on the faces of my kids and husband, etc.


This is what I had in mind!
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Two days ago as the evening approached, I reached the peak of my stress level. I emarged from my office, aka my bedroom, still in pajamas, and felt a sudden urge to cook. "Fish, I want fish."


My wonderful husband heard me mumble and disappeared down into our garage (where our freezer is) and came up with a 2.5 pound bag of frozen cod and left it on the kitchen counter for me. "Thanks, hon. This will do."


Two hours later, I came down again and didn't waste any time. I went to the food pantry, my eyes darting around for ingredients. I needed something that would make the cod dish refreshing, perhaps something mouth-watering and soothing to my achey brain, which has taken its toll on the body. I needed to purge the crankiness, due to stress, out of my system.


Aha! What is in the glass jar staring at me? "Preserved Garlic", the jar said. Nice, plump, golden and juicy garlic bulbs preserved in salt, vinegar and sugar, a product of Thailand (obviously) by Mae Sri; this will be the centerpiece of my fish dish tonight.


I have been so spoiled with a variety of both freshwater and saltwater fish back in Thailand. I know exactly what kind of fish is good for which dish. Cod is not exactly the type of fish found "locally" in the Indian Ocean or the Gulf of Thailand. Although I like the texture, the meat has somewhat of a "saltwater" smell. Therefore, I have options of what herbs I can use to create a diversion to the fishy smell.



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The Recipe -Poached Cod According to the ingredients I happened to have in my kitchen at the time!




I warn you, my dear guests, as I had awhile ago when I started Chef-Me-Not!!! at La CoffeeMelodie Suite; that, I am a chef-NOT, and that my cooking is mostly commonsense and practical sense. The creativity is not forced, and happens according to the flow.


Shall we call this, "Free Form" Cooking?


Step-by-Step Recipe Guide


1. Sliced ginger. How much? As much as you'd like. Ginger helps disguise the fishy smell. If I have an option of choosing between "younger" and "older" ginger, I go with the younger one -easier to eat and tastes better. Look for lighter color on the skin with less dark spots/patches.


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2. You can find preserved garlic bulbs at most Oriental stores. I like Mae Sri brand since the juice is not icky and bitter. I used 6 bulbs -sliced at the same thinkness. You will need to use about 5 tablespoons of its juice from the jar in the sauce.









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3. Chopped or Julienned scallions - use the whole bunch. I only want to say this once. Please clean, scrub and rinse the ingredientswhenever it is applicable!









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4. 2 1/2 pounds of Cod fish. If frozen, please leave to thaw. It doesn't matter how many pieces you get out of this size. -I got ten pieces. Dry the cod with paper towels.










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5. Chop 6-8 stalks of celery. Slice 1-2 red sweet peppers (without seeds).




6. Other ingredients: 4 bunches of glass vermicelli or glass noodle (found in Oriental stores), Japanese Rice Vinegar for Sushi (found also in Oriental stores and uppity-up grocery stores near you -in Asian section) and nampla (Tiparos is more concentrated than Squid, and I used Tiparos this time).




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7. Take out your skillet - mine is about 12" in diameter, enough to put in 2 1/2 lbs of fish, add a spatula of olive oil and heat on medium-high.




8. When the oil is hot, layer chopped celery, red peppers, sliced ginner, fish, and sliced preserved garlic. Pour in the juice, add 3-4 tablespoons of nampla, and add COLD water -enough to almost cover the surface of the fish.


9. Cover the skillet with a lid, and cook for about 7 minutes. While waiting, put on water in a kettle and bring to boil. Take 4 bunches of glass vermicelli, please don't forget to cut the thread/rubber band off. Put glass vermicelli in a bowl and pour boiled water on it. It takes seconds to soften. Drain, and put the vermicelli on the bottom of your serving platter/dish.


10. After 7 minutes, take off the cover and add scallions. Put the lid back on, and let it cook for another 7-10 minutes.


11. Remove the lid, and add vinegar. If you had previously put in 3 tablespoons of nampla, please add 4 tablespoons of vinegar. If you had put in 4 spoons of nampla before, then put in 5 tablespoons of vinegar.




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12. Taste, and look for the balance of sourness, saltiness, and sweetness. You shouldn't have to add sugar or sweentener, for the cold water should have drawn out the natural sweet flavors from the vegetables and the cod. But, if, for some reason, it lacks sweetness, you may add 1 teaspoon of sugar, or half a packet of Stevia or Sweet-n-Low.




13. Just in case you might forget -I alarmingly do it often- turn off your stove before you carefully transfer the aromatic mouth-watering Poached Cod onto the serving dish. Just pour right on top of the glass vermicelli.


14. Serve with the sauce from the skillet over hot steamed Thai Jasmine rice.


There, I de-stressed myself as soon as the aroma got to my nose, and I breathed and breathed. Beaming smiles were a nice addition with my family ooooing and ahhhhing during dinner.


A large accomplishment, and, quite fulfilling!


Buon appetito!





Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit
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Chef-Me-Not! - An Introduction
Land of Smiles - Do Thais Smile because of Good Cuisine?
Top Must-Have Items in My Kitchen
Most Favorite Ingredients
My Food Gallery - Recipe Index
RECIPE TRADING POST - Share recipes-Tips&Techniques

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Poached Cod in Preserved Garlic Sauce
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Thai beef Curry Ghangkiewwannua Recipe
Thai Chicken Indian Curry Ghang-Garee-Ghai
Thai Curry Noodle Kanomjean Namya Recipe
Thai Curry talk -Shooshee- part one
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If you are pleased with this column,
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