RECIPE: BRANZINO MARCO POLO
2 whole branzino, @ 1 lb. each, cleaned
4 scallions, white part only, slivered
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1/2" of ginger root, peeled and slivered
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. nam pla or other Asian fish sauce
cilantro leaves, washed and patted dry
1/4 c. olive oil
Lightly oil the rack of a steaming pot. Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the pot in the oven for a few minute to heat up while you get a kettle of water to boil on the stove top.
Make three or four deep slices into both sides of each fish. Salt and pepper them. Place the fish on the steaming rack. Pour boiling water into the pot just to the level of the bottom of the rack. Place the rack with the fish into the pot and place in the hot oven. Cook for 20 minutes, test for doneness.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan. Fry the shallot rings until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain. (Add more oil if needed to get a good fry.)
Add the ginger slivers, fry for a minute then take the pan off the heat with the ginger still in the oil.
Mix together the soy sauce, nam pla and scallions.
When the fish is ready, heat up the ginger oil. Place the fish on a serving dish and scatter the cilantro leaves over each. Dress with the soy sauce mixture. Pour the hot ginger oil over the fish; it should sizzle. Sprinkle the fried scallion on top.