Ninja Drool #27
I checked out a Chinese cooking variety TV show called Chef Nic (十二道鋒味) the other day. Chef Nic is not strictly a cooking show but more like one of those celebrity variety show meshed with a lot of cooking. I was personally a bit impatient with the parts where the celebrity guests had to participate in games but I was pretty happy with the cooking parts of the show.
I found this little tidbit of the history especially interesting. In the olden days, the dining establishments will prepare a bunch of boiled eggs on the day of the national test hosted by the emperor. All of the eggs will be cooked through, except one egg. The lucky scholar who gets the soft boiled egg is suppose to pass the test.
One of the celebrity guest for this particular episode (Aug, 8 2015) was Tiffany Tang and it was really cute to see Tiffany getting all embarrassed as she confessed that Chef Nic was one of her idols back in her younger days.
The challenge of this episode was to recreate the Stinky Mandarin Fish that is famous in Huiland, China. As you can guess by the name, the preparation of this dish is sort of interesting.
Before even cooking it, the fish has to be kept in a brine at a temperature of about 77 Fahrenheit. The fish is finally ready to be cooked after SIX to SEVEN days when the fish will smell... um... stinky.
While the finished product looked really delicious, I will have to admit that I really wasn't tempted to try Stinky Fish at all.
Thankfully, Chef Nic also made a miso marinated sea bass that I am not too scared to try.
Miso Marinade: Miso, rice wine, soy sauce, salt, mirin, finely grated ginger. Brush on the sea bass and let it sit for six to eight hours.
To keep the skin crisp AND flat, Chef Nic cooked it separately.
Put a flat pan on the stove but don't turn on the fire. Lay the skin in the flat pan, salt and pepper it, then brush olive oil on it.
Take a heavy pot and heat the pot until it is hot. Put the hot pot right on top of the fish skin and wait until the sizzling popping noise stops. You are essentially "frying" the skin with the back of the heavy pot.
I haven't tried this out yet, but according to Chef Nic you will end up with a perfectly flat and crispy fish skin... which he promptly broke into pieces.
This Week's Drama Food