One Fish, Two Fish, Eat My Bluefish (and Green Beans…)

One Spring eve, my dad brought home what he thought would be an unappreciated addition to the family table – bluefish. My sister and I were both under the age of 10, and he assumed that we would turn up our noses and turn down our thumbs at this fatty, fishy-fish. My mom cooked it with garlic, ginger, green onions and soy sauce, and to their surprise, we gobbled it up, and wanted more.

Bluefish is magical. It is dense and soft when cooked, and it holds its own against strong flavors (like my mom’s version). My personal favorite is smoked bluefish, which I have found at fish monger stands in NYC markets, usually around June. My sister and I would eat smoked bluefish like candy. We were a little weird, but it was damn good. A pound of the stuff would not last long at our house.

I made this recipe for the fish, which I think came from a Real Simple recipe. As it was cooking, I got a hankering for my mom’s version, so I made some asian-inspired green beans to go along with it. It totally satiated my craving, and it was probably a healthier approach.

Bluefish in a Herb Blanket with Ginger Soy Green Beans

For the Bluefish:
1 large bunch fresh parsley
1 large bunch fresh dill or basil
1 bunch fresh thyme (I used lime thyme from my herb garden. Aren’t I quaint?)
2 pounds bluefish, in 4 pieces
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (my sea salt came from a salt farmer in Bali. True story. If you are not fortunate enough to take the 52 hour round-trip journey from NYC to Indonesia, generic sea salt will do. I suppose…)

Preheat the oven to 400°F for 15 minutes. Rinse the herbs and chop off their stems. Rub the fish with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Set the fish in a foil-lined pan and cover with the herbs.

Ssshhh...they're sleeping.

Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Discard the herbs before serving.

For the Green Beans:
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
A touch of sesame oil

In a large sauce pan, boil the water. Put the beans in the pan and steam, covered, about 5 minutes (or until cooked but still crisp). Mix the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Drain the beans, and set aside. Heat the oil in the dry pan, and saute the garlic and ginger about 1-2 minutes.  Add the beans and soy sauce mixture, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil.

One fish, two fish, eat my bluefish.

 

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