Pan-seared swordfish and ginger fried ricePosted: 23 September 2010
>A few weeks ago we went to one of those hibachi places where they make all of your food in front of you. It was fun but the fried rice was outstanding. Ever since we had it I’ve been craving fried rice that was that good and after watching the hibachi man make it, I realized that it really isn’t very hard to do. It’s just rice, veggies, and some oil on a hot surface. I can do that! I decided I would make ours a little healthier by using brown rice instead of white rice. Also, I have a lot of brown rice on hand thanks to a giant bag in our pantry.
We’d also just had that delicious swordfish at K’s wedding and I was itching to try some on my own. We eat a lot of Mahi Mahi because it’s delicious and also cheap. I figured we could give swordfish a try instead. The thing that I learned about swordfish is that like tuna, it’s cut into steaks. The meat is thick and dense and although it flakes away once cooked, it’s not as airy when it’s raw. Pretty much this means that if you have a frozen filet it won’t be thawed just by sitting out for 15 minutes. I left ours out for almost 20 hours and they were still pretty frozen when I cooked them. Luckily, it doesn’t matter, you just have to make sure to cook them all the way through which you would do anyway.
I started by cooking my brown rice. Brown rice is healthier because it has more fiber and grainy-ness to it. That same stuff makes it take longer to cook than white rice. While you can cook a cup of basmati to perfect in about 20 minutes, brown rice takes a lot longer. With white rice, I add water over the rice, bring to a boil, then simmer on low, covered for twenty minutes. For brown rice I cover the rice in about three inches of water, bring to a boil, and let it boil until the water is pretty much gone and just rice remains. It usually takes close to 40 minutes but of course it varies depending on how much rice, what altitude, and whether or not you salted the water. The best choice is to leave yourself lots of time and taste it before you decide if it’s done. Brown rice will always have an extra texture that regular rice doesn’t have, but it should not be hard or crunchy. I used 1.5 cups of dry rice.
While the rice was boiling I chopped up red, red and yell bell peppers along with a red onion. I also shaved several carrots (fresh from Wee Garden!) Peas would be appropriate as well but I didn’t have any so we skipped them. I sauteed all of the veggies in a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the veggies were soft and the rice was done, I added another tablespoon of oil and added in the rice, sprinkling ground ginger, salt, pepper and garlic as I went. Making fried rice is a lot like making hashbrowns. You want to leave the rice alone so one whole side can brown. Unfortunately my recipe almost over filled my pan so I had to move things around to make sure all the rice got cooked. I think in the future I will make a batch half this size!
Once the rice was frying I added a tablespoon of olive oil to a stainless steel pan and got it hot before adding my swordfish. Letting the oil get hot is key to creating a non-stick surface on a pan that isn’t non-stick. Adding frozen or very cold fish to hot oil can cause spattering though, so be careful. You want the pan to be hot initially so that you can sear the fish. Searing means heating each side for a few minutes on a very high temperature. It locks in juices and flavor and gives the outer layer a nice crispiness.
Once seared, turn down the heat and cover the pan with a lid to speed cooking time and retain any steam. At this point I was flipping my rice around as well. I added a bit of water to the fish to deglaze the pan. When the fish was almost done cooking (I used a digital thermometer to know for sure) I sprinkled each side with garlic and black pepper. Then chopped some fresh oregano and sprinkled it on the top. A few more minutes with the lid on and the fish was done. Make sure to pour any left over glaze from the pan over your fish and rice for flavor. Yum.
Both the fish and fried rice were really, really yummy. The downside to the fish? Our house smelled like fish for days afterwards. Part of the problem is that we live in a shoebox with few windows and it’s been cold out so we haven’t had them wide open. The down side of the rice? I should have made less! This was about eight servings and if I’d only made four, it would have been a lot easier to brown all of the rice.
Last weekend we had a little rice left so I reheated it in my cast iron skillet and served it with eggs. It was really, really yummy. Possibly better than the first night because every grain of rice had been in contact with the skillet so it was warm and delicious. I just reheated it with some Pam* and tossed. It was really good.
*I use Organic Olive Oil Pam and Organic Canola Oil Pam. They do not contain silicone or any of the scary things that regular Pam contains. Yes, I checked. You know who you are.