Monday, February 14, 2011

Thai Steamed Snapper

Steaming food – cooking it on a rack over a gently simmering liquid – is a delicious and healthy way to prepare seafood. You don’t need to use any fat and the fish stays extremely moist. 

We’re visiting Thailand for this leg of our International Food Journey.  Judy’s Mom, Charlotte, just left for a three week cruise of Southeast Asia, which begins today in Bangkok, so Judy wanted to prepare something that would allow us to feel as though we were traveling there as well.

Thai food is internationally famous. Whether chili-hot or comparatively bland, harmony is the guiding principle behind each dish. Thai cuisine is essentially a marriage of centuries-old Eastern and Western influences harmoniously combined into something uniquely Thai.

The characteristics of Thai food depend on who cooks it, for whom it is cooked, for what occasion, and where it is cooked to suit all palates. Originally, Thai cooking reflected the characteristics of a waterborne lifestyle. Aquatic animals, plants and herbs were major ingredients.

Judy incorporated the required aquatic animals, plants and herbs, as well as curry in this dish and cooked it all in just one pot.  It was delicious and there was less for me to clean up afterwards.  Have I mentioned that when I cook Judy cleans, and vice versa?  That’s been our arrangement since the beginning of this journey, and it’s been working very well.  Just another key to a successful marriage.

From our kitchen to yours.  Enjoy the adventure.


Thai Steamed Snapper
2 cups Water

1 medium Onion, chopped

3 cloves Garlic, minced

2 oz Lemongrass, about 6 inches, fresh, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 Tbsp Ginger Root, fresh, peeled and grated

1 tsp Thai Kitchen Red Curry paste, or another brand

24 oz Red Snapper, 4 – 5 fillets, skinned

½ pound Snow Peas, fresh, trimmed and halved crosswise

2 Tbsp fresh Lime Juice

2 Tbsp Cilantro, fresh, chopped

1 Tbsp Fish Sauce, (Nam pla)

2 cups Rice, cooked, we prefer Brown Rice

2 medium Scallions, chopped


Bring Water, Onion, Garlic, Lemongrass, Ginger and Curry paste to a boil in a steamer pot. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes.

Coat the bottom of a Steamer Rack with non-stick cooking spray. Place the Fish on the rack, and set the rack over the steamer pot. Cover and cook 4 minutes.  Add the Snow Peas and cook until the fish is just opaque in the center and the Snow Peas are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes longer.

Remove the Steamer Rack from the steamer pot and set aside.  Stir the Lime juice, Cilantro, and the Fish sauce into the broth.  Remove from heat and discard the pieces of Lemongrass.

Place ½ cup of the Rice in the bottom of four shallow bowls.  Top each bowl with 1 fish Fillet, ¼ of the Snow Peas and some of the Scallions.  Spoon the broth over each Fillet, about 1/3 cup, and serve.

Yields 4 servings. PointsPlus value per serving is 8.  Prep time is 18 minutes. Cooking time is 26 minutes. Level of difficulty is Easy.

Weight Watchers and PointsPlus are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers Intl. Inc.

Recipes shown may not be exactly the same as those found on any website. Judy and I tend to "tweak" each recipe we feature, to some degree, incorporating our own unique tastes and ideas. PointsPlus values, however, are accurate. 

Photo by Barry Baruh

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