Rockfish In A Pocket – Asian Style with Tangy Sesame Salad

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I am not a lover of fish. It’s not necessarily that I don’t like it, because I do. But…it just doesn’t seem like a real meal to me for some reason. So when I do make it, I like to add things to it, some excitement, so that it seems like it’s more “meal-ish”. I know it sounds weird, but what can I say? I was raised in a meat, vegetable, and potatoes household. A biscuits, bacon, pancakes, homemade soup, steak, turkey dinner and pie kind of household. You know, real food.

This meal actually shocked me. I really liked it. Every flavor was distinctive. Even the tiny amount of clementine zest and ginger added a unique and powerful dimension. Maybe the addition of a starch, the rice, made it feel like more of a normal meal to me, I don’t know. But either way, it was quite tasty and it received great reviews from my husband.

Tangy Sesame Salad

2 Cups Napa Cabbage, thinly sliced

1 Cup Shredded Carrots

1/2 English Cucumber, peeled, cut down the middle and thinly sliced

1 Green Onion, sliced down the middle and thinly sliced

1 Heaping Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped

For The Dressing:

1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar

3 to 4 Drops Dark Sesame Oil, about 1/2 teaspoon

1/8 teaspoon Grated Fresh Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Gluten Free Soy Sauce

Prepare the salad ingredients.

Prepare the salad dressing. Whisk until fully incorporated.

Place the vegetables in a medium bowl, toss, cover, and refrigerate. Cover and refrigerate the dressing. Don’t dress the salad until the fish is finished cooking or the salad will become limp.

Rockfish In A Pocket – Asian Style

Preheat Oven to 350°

4 Non-Oily Fish Fillets (I used Rockfish)

1/2 of a Large Red Bell Paper, thinly sliced

2 Green Onions, thinly sliced on an angle

1 Clove Garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon Grated Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Clementine Zest

Olive Oil

White Rice

For The Sauce:

1 Tablespoon Gluten Free Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Sweet Chili Sauce

1/2 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce

Get the rice going first so it can cook while you are preparing the fish. Rinse and pat the fish dry with paper towels. Set aside. Prepare the pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, and clementine zest and set aside. In a small dish, add the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha sauce.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Cut 4 pieces of parchment for the fish pockets.

Place two fish fillets in the middle of one piece of parchment. Drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil and rub it over the fillets. Take 1/2 of the clementine zest and grated ginger and rub into the fillets, dispersing it as evenly as possible. Spread 1/2 of the sliced garlic over the top.

Layer 1/2 of the peppers and onions over the top.

Stir the sauce well and drizzle 1/2 of it over the fillets.

Place another piece of parchment over the top of the fish, joining the long edges together by folding them over.

Continue rolling the sides and pressing along the edge with your fingernail or the handle of a butter knife until there is a sharp edge and the folded parchment reaches the fish.

Then roll the short edges the same way until it is completely folded and sealed.

Repeat with the remaining fillets. Place both pockets on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. While the fish is baking, toss the salad with the dressing.

Remove the pockets from the oven. Carefully slit open the top and pull apart. Be very careful, the steam from the fish is very hot.

You can eat this two ways. you can place the pocket on a plate and put the rice in it to soak up the juices and eat it that way. Or, you can put rice on your plate, place the fish on top of the rice and then pour the juices over it, which is what I did.

Oh, and in case you were ever curious about the “behind the scenes” recipe writing in food blogs…here’s how I do it. Recipes scribbled on napkins, minus a picture of the incredible mess I made. A glamorous hobby, huh? Complete with a soy sauce stained pen. ;)

Asian Shrimp Skewers with Hot and Spicy Slaw

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This turned out so good that I think I might have to make it again in a few days. It’s a nice, light meal that is surprisingly packed with flavor. Perfect for a hot summer evening. I think it would also pair nicely with a slightly sweet, fruity wine. It was really easy to put together, you can make it even easier if you want, by making the salad dressing and marinade the night before and sticking it in the fridge. One disclaimer though…the “hot” in the Hot and Spicy slaw is hot. We are big fans of spicy and hot in this family, but as with any recipe, you can feel free to tweak it to your liking.

1 Bag 50-60 Shrimp, peeled, rinsed & patted dry

Wood Skewers

For the Shrimp Marinade:

1 Lime, zested

Juice of 1 Lime

3 Tbsp. Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp. Apricot Simply Fruit Jelly

1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar

1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha Sauce

1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley Flakes

1 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic

Place all ingredients in a medium glass or ceramic bowl and stir.

Add shrimp and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but no more than 1 1/2 hours.

For the Salad Dressing:

1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar

1 Lime, zested

Juice of 1 Lime

1 Jalapeno, diced with seeds and membrane intact (if you like it hot)

1 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce

1 Tbsp. Sweet Chili Sauce

1/8 tsp. Dark Sesame Oil

Sesame Seeds for sprinkling after salad is tossed with dressing

Place all ingredients (except the seeds) in a small glass or ceramic bowl, stir. Cover and refrigerate while you make the salad.

For the Salad:

2 1/2 Cups Napa Cabbage, sliced thinly

2 Tbsp. Chives, finely chopped

1 Large Carrot, shredded

2 Large Broccoli Florets, pulled apart

1/2 Seedless Cucumber, peeled and sliced lengthwise then quartered

Place all ingredients in a medium glass or ceramic bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to dress the salad (right before the shrimp come off of the grill).

Next, skewer the shrimp and pre-heat the grill on medium-high.

I also grilled a summer squash alongside the shrimp. Cut  in half lengthwise, top with chopped garlic, thyme, olive oil and a squirt of lime juice on each one.

Grill the shrimp until done. They only take a few minutes per side. While the shrimp and the squash are grilling, toss the salad with the dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds. I also made a dip for the shrimp with a little rice vinegar, sweet chile sauce, and sriracha sauce.