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by Liren Baker

Liren Baker is the voice behind the blog Kitchen Confidante, where she shares taste and inspiration in the kitchen. Inspired by the beauty of food, what it represents, what it invokes, and what we can create out of it, she shares recipes and images that remind her of her heritage, her childhood in New York, and the vibrant culinary culture she has learned to embrace in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she currently lives.

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  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • Do you ever get stuck in a rut? A meat and poultry rut? I have to admit that sometimes, I do. Our dinners will rotate through the same proteins: pork, beef, turkey, chicken. And then, almost as an afterthought, I'll remember to add the fish.

    In my case, it's simply forgetfulness, because truth be told, I love fish. Adore it. I suppose what is hard for me is that I prefer to purchase my seafood the same day I plan on preparing it, and when you do your food shopping on an almost weekly basis, that can be tricky. Back in the day when I was buying ingredients for dinner on the same day, I realize that seafood was always in my rotation.
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • So when my husband was dispatched to the markets last weekend to buy something for dinner, I couldn't help but do a little happy dance when he brought home some beautiful fresh fish, their glossy skin still on (you know I love a crispy fish skin, right?). He asked, "can we grill this with that marinade you used to do?"

    Ah yes, I had almost forgotten.
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • This Soy-Sesame Marinade is punchy with its salty sweet and spicy tang. The Asian flavors soak into the flesh of the fish, making it flavorful and just perfect for dinner on a summer evening.
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • As my fork pierced a tender flake of fish and brought it to my mouth, my tastebuds remembered. And I secretly made a little pact with myself to make it again soon.

    Soy-Sesame Grilled Fish

    Serves 4.

    Ingredients:

    1. 4 fillets white fish, such as Halibut, Red Snapper, Mahi Mahi
    2. 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    3. 2 tablespoons sesame oil
    4. 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    5. 2 teaspoons chili powder
    6. 2 teaspoons sugar
    7. 4 garlic cloves, minced
    8. 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
    9. 2 scallions, finely sliced
    10. 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, crushed
    11. freshly ground black pepper

    Method:

    Prepare your fish by slashing the skin side on a diagonal. Place in a deep sided dish.

    In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili powder, sugar, garlic, ginger, scallions, sesame seeds and pepper. Pour over the fish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 4 hours.

    Preheat your grill. Over high heat, grill the fish, skin side down, for about 4-5 minutes, then flip. Cook an additional 4 minutes or so, or until the fish is fully cooked. A good rule of thumb is 10 minutes total cooking time per inch. Baste while cooking with any additional marinade. When the fish is cooked, transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

    Recipe lightly adapted from Soy-basted Red Snapper, Grill It: 100 Easy Recipes for Foods to Sear, Sizzle, and Smoke, by Annette Yates (Courage Books, 1999).

    - Liren
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