On White Dragon I claim to have almost every spice, herb and sauce known to man. I have collected significant volumes of the indigenous herbs and spices from all the countries I have been fortunate enough to sail to. My first trip ashore is always to the local market.
This dish is a fusion of Chinese sauces and European herbs with my own twist to create the fusion. It is based on my onboard staple diet of fantastically fresh fish straight out of the sea.
It adheres to the mandatory principle for onboard cooking underway, which requires only one, or max two, pans or pots.
You can use any fish/prawns/shrimps/lobster/crab meat and switch most of the vegetables too. If the fish you use has quite a light flaky flesh, keep the skin on to keep it from breaking up, but as always, slightly undercook the fish rather than overcooking it, which will ruin the dish.
I try to use physical measurements rather than scale weights, as scales don’t work too well in a heeling galley.
1kg x fresh fish, filleted and cut the flesh into good size chunks, 2” (5cm) pieces. In this recipe, I’ve used filleted Smooth Hound (Rock Salmon in fish and chip shops in the UK), Thornback Ray cheek balls and small whiting for decoration! You can use more or less fish as you like.
- 3x medium Italian white onions, coarse chopped. You can substitute any onions.
- 1x tin chopped plum tomatoes
- 6x cloves garlic, coarse chopped
- 6x small aubergines quartered longways or 2 large ones sliced and diced.
- 1x red sweet pepper, green is fine but the red ones have a better visual impact.
- 1x yellow sweet pepper
- 2x courgettes sliced
- 12x mushrooms or so – I am cooking this for my daughter, and she hates them, so I am leaving them out this time!
- 6x olives stoned and chopped coarsely
- 1 pint of fish stock. See In The Galley April edition for the fish stock recipe and method.
- ⅓ bottle dry white wine
- ½ x lemon
- ¼ x cup of finely chopped herbs, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil if it’s in season.
- ½x teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1x small cup olive oil
- 3x tablespoons Oyster sauce
- 1x tablespoon Shaoxing Chinese wine
- 2x tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1x teaspoon fish sauce
- 3x tablespoons of potato starch powder or cornflour powder
- Add the olive oil to a casserole pot or dish with a lid. You want one that can go on the hob and in the oven. Add the chopped onions, turn up to medium-high heat for a couple of mins then turn down to low heat to sweat down the onions without browning.
- Add the chopped garlic, stir to stop it sticking, cook for 3 or 4 mins, don’t let the garlic go brown or it will taste bitter.
- Add the sliced aubergines and sweet peppers. Cook until the aubergines are cooked through, maybe 20 mins, stirring gently occasionally. Check there is enough oil to cook the aubergines, add a little more if too dry.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped or sliced olives, courgettes, black pepper and the chopped herbs and stir gently to disperse.
- Pour the fish stock, white wine, oyster sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, fish sauce, squeeze in the juice from the lemon, into a large jug or bowl and stir in the potato starch powder or cornflour and stir vigorously until the potato starch has fully dissolved. Then add this mixture into the pot and stir to disperse the ingredients.
- Increase the heat to bring the pot to simmer. Put the lid on and put the pot into the oven at max heat setting 220-240 deg cook for 30-40 mins until the courgettes are just soft.
- Now add the diced fish and gently stir to make sure the fish is all in the sauce of the dish. Cook in the oven for max 15 mins or until the fish is opaque.
Serve with pasta or rice and an ice cold sauvignon blanc and enjoy!