Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pike Mackerel Eggplant Salad

3 pieces Pike mackerel
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium-sized eggplant
1/2 diced mango
2 diced Roma tomatoes
1/2 small diced red onion or 1 shallot
1/2 sliced jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lemon

Salt the pike mackerels. Heat frying pan and add the cooking oil.  Fry Pike mackerel until golden brown.  Set aside. Grill the eggplant on live charcoal or stove until cooked.  Let cool. 
Peel the skin of the eggplants and lay whole on top of each green lettuce leaf.
Dice the mangoes,tomatoes and onions. Mix together in a bowl and add the chopped cilantro and juice of one lemon.  Mix well.

On a serving plate, arrange the green lettuce leaves around the plate. Lay each eggplant on top of the green lettuce leaf. Put 2 cups of the mango mixture on the center of the plate and top with cooked shrimp paste (bagoong). Snap each of the fish with your fingers and arranged around the center of the plate. 

*  Serves 4
*  Serve with steamed Jazmine rice
*  Tested and tried at Chris' kitchen 02/24/2011

Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)

What I like in Banh Mi sandwiches are the crunchy Vietnamese baguette, the blanched carrots and cucumber marinated in seasoned vinegar, the white part of the green onion (cut into thin strips), sprigs of cilantro, and the special sauce that gives life to this delicious sandwich. I used fish fillet (tilapia) which I pan fried as the main ingredient. You can also use chicken, pork, beef, or other seafood like shrimps, crabs, etc. depending on what you like.

Main Ingredient
3 tilapia fillets (sprinkle salt & pepper and add lemon juice)
dash of salt & pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons canola canola oil

1/2 cup sliced blanched carrots
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1/4 cup turnip or Jicama (cut into thin strips)
1/2 cup seasoned vinegar
3 green leaf lettuce
8 sprigs of cilantro
3 stalks green onion (use only the bottom white part)

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon Nuoc Nam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold water

Vietnamese Baguette
3 eight inches Vietnamese Baguette (horizontally sliced in the middle but not all the way through)

Pan fry the tilapia fillets in canola oil until cook or for about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside. Blanched the sliced carrot in hot boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes.  Let cool. Marinate carrots with the sliced cucumber in the seasoned vinegar for about 10 minutes.  Make your special sauce by adding them all together in a bowl and mix in the blender. Reheat 8" baguettes that have been sliced in the middle horizontally but not all the way through. 

How to arrange your Banh Mi
Get one 8" baguette and line the bottom with the green lettuce, fish, carrots, cucumber, strips of Jicama or turnip, green onion (white only), and sprigs of cilantro.  Drizzle generously with the special sauce.  Put a toothpick in the middle of both ends of the sandwich to hold them together then cut in the middle and serve immediately. Do the same thing with the other two 8" baguettes.

Serves 3
Tested in Chris' kitchen on 02/24/2011 

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