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Green Tea Poached Fish with Carrot-Ginger Sauce
I remember first discovering how versatile, complex, and exciting food could truly be. I was amazed when I first tried a dish similar to this Green Tea Poached Fish with Carrot-Ginger Sauce. Poaching a protein in anything other than stock was so foreign to me at the time and yet, when I learned about this interesting technique, it was a major light bulb-kind-of-moment. Well, duh! Of course you should poach delicate fish in an herbal tea! I always knew I wanted to be a chef, but that dish certainly set the stage for my culinary career.
This dish is a funny one, meaning I find it difficult to describe. The delicate white fish is poached in a light green tea broth. Then its served with an assertive carrot ginger sauce and a spicy papaya salad. Both sides appear to not play with the others… and yet, it all does somehow. The nuances of the green tea supports the sweetness in the carrot sauce to balance out the spiciness of the salad. And although the fish plays a more supportive role in the dish’s profile, it’s creaminess is a wonderful contrast to the rest of the dish. Make sure you check out my Green Papaya Salad recipe here to complete this beautiful dish.
Green Tea Poached Fish with Papaya Salad and Carrot-Ginger Sauce
This Green Tea Poached Fish with Papaya Salad and Carrot-Ginger Sauce has a wonderful blend of spicy heat from the papaya salad, herbal sweetness from the fish, and bright, creaminess from the sauce making it a beautifully complex meal that's easy to prepare.
Season fish with salt. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil with ginger and garlic. Turn off heat and submerge tea bags, steeping for 10 minutes. Generously season tea water with salt (it should taste like the ocean). Add in the lime zest. Remove tea bags and submerge the fish. Bring water to a low rumble over low heat. Remove fish when internal temperature reaches 128 degrees (about 10 minutes). Drizzle with lime juice for serving.
Place olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add in the shallots and garlic. Saute for 1 minute then add in the carrots. Top the carrots with water, place over medium heat, cover, and boil until soft (about 5-10 minutes). When the carrots are soft, place in a blender and puree until smooth. Place back in the saucepan and season with salt and vinegar. Rewarm before serving.