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The Blue & Gray Press | November 23, 2017

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All spiced up: fresh tilapia with matchstick vegetables and ginger-infused rice


By Danielle Rosenberg

Cooking fish can easily become the worst kitchen mistake of one’s life. Based upon personal experience, I advise all to remember that too short of an attention span can lead to an approximate one-mile radius of stench and/or smoke.

I urge everyone attempting to cook this dish or any other involving fish to stay in the kitchen. That being said, this dish is best when not overcooked.
A white fish like tilapia should be cooked until the inside is no longer pinkish in color and until the meat is just about to flake off.
I also didn’t allow the carrots and peppers to get too tender in order to retain nutrients and some of that crunch (texture, people, texture).
Also, a distinction: while I like regular soy sauce, I maintain that tamari tastes better because it is (usually—check the bottle) wheat-free.

The Recipe:
For the ginger-infused rice:
-½ Cup uncooked rice
-¼ inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled

For the tilapia and vegetables:
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 teaspoons sesame oil
-1 carrot, julienned
– ½ of a yellow pepper, julienned
– ¼ inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned
-2 tilapia filets
-4 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)
-2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions:
Cook the rice by the given instructions; only add a ¼-inch piece of ginger root. This will give the rice a subtle hint of ginger.
Then, in a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and the sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add the julienned carrots, ginger root and yellow pepper. Let this cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots and peppers begin to soften just a little—only a minute or two—and the ginger becomes pungent and tender.
Add the tilapia filets and the tamari (soy sauce) and cook until the fish is white and flaky throughout. Be careful not to let the filets stick to the pan and not to overcook them.
When the fish is cooked, add the sesame seeds and let them toast lightly (only 30 seconds or so).
To serve, place the tilapia and vegetables atop the rice and pour the remaining sauce and juices from the pan over the rice, fish and vegetables.
Serves 2

Wine Pairing:

With this dish, since the fresh ginger does have a certain spice about it, I tend to lean toward a wine such as a Chenin Blanc. This is a light white wine that has enough oomph to balance out the spice while not overpowering the fish’s delicate flavor.