I am revelling in my local famers’ market – every Wednesday morning I rush down to see what’s in season. This week I bought some tiny, tiny courgettes to go with the pak choi, which I simply sliced in half, plus all sorts of greens, herbs, salad, raspberries and strawberries. How I love the English summer produce, even when the sun doesn’t shine!
Best of all is a fabulous fish stall with yesterday’s south coast catch laid out on ice by 9 am! I have been feasting on fresh mackerel with gooseberry sauce or with chilli and lime (recipes to follow), but to treat son I bought a huge monkfish fillet and shamelessly adapted this BBC food recipe.
The ginger is good for immunity boosting too – all in all, this is a healthy recipe, even the sugar is palm sugar; and in order to get the perfect Asian sweet/sour balance you do need it.
As ever, once everything is chopped up it is very quick and easy. Son pronounced it delicious.
For the ginger and lime sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger, cut into julienne
- 1 lemongrass stick, finely chopped
- 1 lime leaf, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 3 tbsp palm sugar (alternatively use soft brown sugar)
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 150ml/5fl oz water
- 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint
- 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
For the monk fish
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or smoked peanut oil
- 1 lb monk fish fillet, membrane and bone removed and cut into 1 inch chunks
For the steamed pak choi
- 4 pak choi, halved
- baby courgettes, thinly sliced (or any other veg you have to hand – e.g. broccoli, shitake mushrooms)
- 2cm/¾in piece fresh root ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 sticks lemongrass, bruised and chopped in half
- 2 tbsp sesame oil or smoked peanut oil
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
For the ginger and lime sauce, heat a frying pan and add the oil. Once hot, add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaf and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce, palm sugar, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and stock and cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep warm while you cook the fish and vegetables.
For the monk fish, heat a large wok and add the oil, once hot add the fish and stir fry, turning continuously until cooked through. Only takes 3-4 minutes.
For the steamed greens, place a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water and add the pak choi, broccoli, ginger, lemongrass, sesame/peanut oil and soy sauce. Cover with a lid and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Just before serving add the fresh mint and coriander to the sauce, and pour the sauce over the fish in the wok.
Serve with rice to soak up the lovely sauce, with the greens on the side