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Eric Akis: Asian-style B.C. lingcod a salty, sour, sweet and spicy treat

If you fancy some fish prepared in a simple, but flavourful Asian-style way, this recipe for B.C. lingcod should satisfy you.
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B.C. lingcod fillets are roasted with Asian-style flavours and served with steamed gai lan, drizzled with oyster sauce. ERIC AKIS

If you fancy some fish prepared in a simple, but flavourful Asian-style way, my recipe for B.C. lingcod should satisfy you.

The funny thing about lingcod is that it’s not a ling, a member of the codfish family, or a cod, such as the type you might jig for in Newfoundland. It’s actually the largest member of the greenling family and native to the northeastern Pacific.

According to the seafood information rich website seafoodsource.com, lingcod likely got the name ling from early settlers who related it to European lings, but acknowledged its white flaky flesh by adding cod to its name.

I used lingcod fillets, a good source of lean protein, in my recipe and enhanced it’s mild, but pleasing taste by topping and roasting it with such things as ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lime juice and Sriracha. It’s easy to make and delicious to eat.

I plated and served the fish with steamed rice, that I sprinkled with some roasted sesame seeds, and steamed gai lan, a member of the cabbage family.

Gai lan is similar to broccoli, why it is also called Chinese broccoli, but is sharper tasting, has thinner stems, more leafs and just a few unclustered florets. After cooking, I drizzled the gai lan with an oyster sauce mixture, a style of preparation I’ve enjoyed in Chinese restaurants.

Oyster sauce is a smooth, soy-based mixture flavoured with a strained, concentrated liquid/extract made from ground and simmered dried oysters. It very savoury and just a little of it can add is an umami bomb of flavour to the dish you add it to or serve it with.

Oyster sauce and roasted sesame seeds can be found in the Asian foods aisle of many supermarkets and at Asian food stores.

Asian-style Roasted Lingcod Fillets

B.C. lingcod fillets are roasted with salty, sour, sweet and spicy Asian-style flavours.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes

Makes: two servings

2 (6 oz/170 gram) lingcod fillets (see Note)

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp honey

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp Sriracha or other smooth Asian-style hot chili sauce, or to taste

1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 to 2 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking pan large enough to hold the two fish fillets with parchment paper. Pat fish dry with paper towel and then set in the pan. Combine soy sauce, honey, lime juice, Sriracha, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Spoon this mixture over the fish. Roast 10 to 12 minutes, or until just cooked through. Set a piece of lingcod on each of two dinner plates. Spoon the pan juices over the fish, sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Note: Lingcod is sold at local seafood stores and at some supermarkets.

Steamed Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce

Gai lan, steamed until just tender and rich green in colour, is plated and drizzled with an umami-rich oyster sauce mixture.

Cooking time: four to six minutes

Makes: two servings

1 (about 6 to 8 oz/170 to 225 gram) bunch gai lan

3 Tbsp oyster sauce

2 Tbsp water

2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp granulated sugar

1/2 tsp rice vinegar

1/4 tsp cornstarch

Wash the gai lan, and then drain well. Trim off any tougher lower stems.

Place oyster sauce, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, vinegar and cornstarch in a small pot and whisk to combine. Set over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, and then remove the heat and cover.

Place gai lan in a steamer and cook, covered, over boiling water until crisp, tender, about two to four minutes, depending on thickness. While gai lan cooks, uncover oyster sauce mixture and warm over medium heat.

When cooked, arrange the gai lan on a serving platter; drizzle with the oyster sauce mixture and serve.

Jade Phoenix Club Celebrates Asian Heritage Month

To celebrate Asian Heritage Month, Victoria’s Jade Phoenix Club will host a banquet dinner open to the public on May 14 at Golden City Restaurant, 721 Fisgard Street. During the evening author Cheuk Kwan will talk about his recently published book, Have You Eaten Yet?: Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World.

The book is described as an intrepid travelogue of grand vistas, adventure and serendipity that charts a living atlas of the global Chinese migration, ultimately revealing how an excellent meal always tells an even better story.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and for $55 per person you get to hear Kwan speak and be served an eight-course dinner. For $75 per person, you get dinner and a copy of his book. For $120, two people get dinner and receive one copy of his book. Proceeds from the event will go to local charities.

To book your seats and for more information, please contact Charlayne Thornton-Joe at charlaynetj@outlook.com

eakis@timescolonist.com

Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.