Ok, I promise – I definitely cook more than just seafood. I try to eat it a few days per week; so after this, you probably won’t see seafood for a week or so. Whew. But we need to get through this post first…
So another white-fleshed fish – filleted and cooked, they all look about the same. But this one is Turbot a.k.a. Greenland Halibut, which is a flatfish that is wild caught. The meat is delicate in flavor and flaky. The fish yields good fillets that can be baked, poached or pan-seared. I wanted to keep the integrity of the fish but to also bring in flavor without heavy battering and seasoning. So I pan-seared the fish with salt and pepper and used broth to bring in indirect flavors. I actually had left-over fennel from the mussels dish and used it with mushroom, ground cardamom and star anise seed to infuse chicken stock.
Cardamom is very aromatic and a spice regularly used in Indian cuisine. It has a slightly gingery taste and is an ingredient in Masala chai for tea. Star anise is a spice that resembles anise (licorice-y) in flavor and is an ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder. I’m using star anise to complement the licorice-y flavor of fennel. Lastly, the mushroom adds depth and meatiness to the broth.
- On the stove-top or in a rice cooker, cook the jasmine rice in the water. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, drizzle olive oil and heat. Add fennel and cook until beginning to soften, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook about 2 minutes.
- Add ground cardamom and star anise seed. Cook for about 30 seconds.
- Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large skillet on medium heat, drizzle olive oil and heat.
- Pat dry the Turbot fillets and season both sides with sea salt and black pepper.
- Pan-sear the fillets, turning only once. The fillets will cook and turn white from the bottom-up. Flip the fillets when it’s cooked 75% of the way up, about 3-4 minutes. To get a nice sear on the other side, drizzle olive oil on top before flipping.
- Sear the other side for about 3 minutes.
- To serve, place a mound of rice in a shallow bowl. Place the fillet on top of the rice and ladle broth into the bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves.