“A Mentor’s Meal”
To see the entire seven course meal menu please click on the menu bar on the main blog page and click on the title of the menu -“A Mentor’s Meal”
As mentioned in the meal description, I wanted to do something different…something playful. Well this dish that I found on recipetineats.com seemed to be easy enough but also interesting and unique. It was not easy!! Let me start by saying that rice paper is a little scary if you’re not used to working with it. This is a new ingredient for me and one of the issues I have with it is the time sensitivity factor when working with it. If you soak it too much it will dissolve on you. If you don’t soak it enough then it will not be pliable and will crack instead of nicely forming into whatever you’re trying to do with it. This is where you need the guiding hands of an experienced cook. But I had to figure it out on my own and it was all about trial and error. I did try it a few times in the days leading up to the dinner and it finally did work for me. Until I decided to put it in the oven to keep it warm. Don’t do that. Like I said in the meal description, this is a live action meal. And should have been served that way. But the gelatinous state was reminiscent of Taiwanese Bao-wan so I was saved from being totally embarrassed. But please do try it. And don’t ever be afraid to try new ingredients because thats how any dish has ever evolved into something even better.
Rice Paper Cod
Serves 4-6 as an Entree Course in a seven course meal
1 Lb Cod Cut into 1×2 Inch pieces
2 Tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro Leaves
15-18 Rice Paper Rounds
2-3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Cut the cod into 1×2 inch pieces. Pat them dry with a towel. In a small bowl combine the Chinese Five Spice Powder and Salt. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the fish pieces. Take a few leaves of the chopped cilantro and place them on top of each piece. In a large bowl (or pie dish) of warm water soak a rice paper round for 5 seconds or so. It should be pliable enough to fold over without cracking but not so soft that it just turns into slime. You may have to try this a few times before it works out the way you need it to. Place the softened rice round on a plate and place a piece of the seasoned fish on top. Fold the rice paper over the fish to create a little parcel. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Pan fry each parcel of fish and serve immediately. It should be crispy and the fish should still be a little juicy inside.
This dish tastes excellent with a variety of dipping sauces. You could go with a simple soy sauce or a doctored up one with ginger and scallions. Play around with what you like and I promise this dish will please. Just don’t let it rest in the oven.