Friday, July 17, 2009

PapaPhat's Famous Fish

Here’s the thing about PapaPhat. He’s a dangerous cook. So be warned, most of his stove-top recipes are absolutely divine, but he tends to use high heat. This results in a good amount of smoking and you need a very watchful eye so you don’t burn the food…or set your kitchen on fire.

But if you can figure it out, oh goodness, you will have some of the best food you could imagine.

Especially fish. PapaPhat’s fish is the best I’ve ever tasted. People that don’t even like fish love PapaPhat’s fish. And it’s not complicated at all. The man just has the magic touch.

So here’s what we ate for dinner tonight. Believe it or not, it took less than half an hour from start to finish. Looks gourmet, doesn't it?

Pan-Roasted Snapper w. Herbed Polenta and Warm Shitake and Pea Shoot Salad


What You’ll Need:

Wild Red Snapper Filet, cut into two 6-oz pieces, with the skin scored (that’s slits)

Wondra Flour
Sea Salt
White Pepper
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Ginger Oil

What You’ll Do:

Dry fish off with paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly dust on both sides with Wondra Flour.

Heat olive oil in sautee pan on high heat until almost smoking.

Add the fish skin-side down, immediately shake pan slightly so skin doesn’t stick. Press lightly with a spatula (and if you have a fish spatula, even better) to sear the skin.

Cook until you see browning on the sides and edges, and the flesh of the fish begins to cook.

Turn fish over, let cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour ginger oil on fish and baste, all in the pan. This will keep it moist as it’s cooking.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove fish from pan, put on a dish with a paper towel on it to absorb fats before serving.


What You’ll Need:

1 cup shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced shallots minces
1 8-ounce package pea shoots

½ bulb shaved fennel/anise
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of half a lemon
a few shakes of truffle oil (optional)

What You’ll Do:

In 1 tbsp olive oil, in high heat, sear mushrooms until crisp and brown (not burnt). Add salt and white pepper, and then shallots, cook 30 seconds. Add snow pea shoots, cook until they start to wilt, no more than a minute. Add fennel and lemon juice, fresh cracked black pepper, truffle oil, toss, remove from heat, serve.


What You’ll Need:

About half a cup of instant polenta (seriously, takes as good as regular polenta)

1 quart chicken stock, boiling, with 1tsp butter
Chopped herbes (chives, chervil, parsley—anything)

What You’ll Do:

Whisk in polenta to boiling stock/butter. Keep whisking on very low heat until polenta starts to pull away from sides of pan. Fold in herbs. Serve immediately.

To get it to look this pretty, mold polenta on plate, put fish filet on it and top with warm salad.


  1. ahahahah nice you uys and your gourmet meals ... heheh looks delicious

  2. oh, it was. It was sooo yummytasty.

  3. Oooh. I mouse at the old house ate our polenta! Dammit. Gotta try this soon...


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