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Pan Fried Snapper, Chinese Black Rice + Sesame Asparagus

July 28, 2012 by Joan Nova in Condiments, Finishing Touches, Rice/Risotto, Vegetables | 16 Comments

This is a 3-component dish that comes together so easily and adds a little Asian flavor to your dinner table. 

With a few Asian staples in your pantry, you can change the flavor profile of any meal. I used Chinese black rice and dulse seaweed because I had them, but the same effect can be created without those ingredients. In fact, I can’t say that the black rice had any special taste. The key ingredients are mirin, sesame oil and red curry paste (all in small amounts).

I seasoned the snapper with olive oil and a drizzle of sesame oil and s+p. Then I brushed it with small amount of combined mirin, fish sauce and red curry paste which, respectively, gives it a little sweet, saltiness and heat.

The fish should be placed skin side down first in very hot pan. When skin browns and starts to curl, flip and cover for just a few minutes to cook through but not dry out.

Asparagus were roasted with a drizzle of sesame oil, s+p, and sesame seeds in a 400 degree oven for a short time which helps to keep crunch, especially if you use the pencil thin variety like these.

Rice was cooked separately and conventionally (except that I added dulse seaweed at the end).

Finishing Touch. A little acid created by making a simple vinaigrette of minced scallion and dandelion tossed with rice vinegar and red cili flakes (no oil), just makes it all go ‘pop’. Top with a couple of chow mein noodles for fun.


NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. I’m so glad to see you’ve used black rice and could tell us more about it. Someone gave me a bag and, probably because I didn’t know much about it, I haven’t gotten around to using it yet.

    Stunning presentation Joan and snapper is one of our favs. I bet the sesame oil brought a lot of flavor to the dish.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese and PistachiosMy Profile

  2. Sam is right – a stunning presentation. I too have black rice and I will try it your way…
    Platanos Mangoes & Me! recently posted..LOUKANIKA – GREEK SAUSAGE WITH ORANGE PEEL AND A HINT OF OUZOMy Profile

  3. I haven’t had access to black rice in so very many years. It always looks so elegant, so special on the plaste. What a nice looking dinner full of clean flavors. Love the touch of dandelion greens.
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Greens with Peaches and Fresh Blackberry VinaigretteMy Profile

  4. I’ve never eaten black rice (to my knowledge) and now would like to!
    Sally – My Custard Pie recently posted..Panna cotta two ways for two special occasionsMy Profile

  5. bellini says:

    We have some fantastic Asian markets here just full of ingredients needing to be discovered. Love the fanciful chow main noodles on top.

  6. Eleanor Hoh says:

    Gorgeous, Joan! I love all 3 components, well balanced with colors, flavors and texture! Always enjoy your Asian twists!
    Eleanor Hoh recently posted..BBQ Spicy Hoisin RibsMy Profile

  7. Love the idea of the dulce for the salty note. How does the black rice taste? It looks chewier. Is it?
    Very pretty, and flavourful – AND healthy meal! Bravo, Joan!
    A Canadian Foodie recently posted..Prairie Summer Saskatoon Berry Pie or French TartMy Profile

  8. I had asparagus, fish and rice for dinner tonight my plate didn’t look as vibrant as yours does. Will have to try the Chinese black rice–it’s beautiful on the plate. This is my kind of dinner.
    Lemons and Anchovies recently posted..Fresh Blueberry Mini TartsMy Profile

  9. What a beautiful dish! I love that asparagus, will have to try it this way :)

  10. Lori Lynn says:

    That sounds like dinner to me.

    I’m going to add some red curry paste next time I pan sear fish, great additional flavor…

    Chow Mein noodles make a cute garnish. Stealing that idea…
    Lori Lynn recently posted..5 Fabulous Bloggers: Proud Italian CookMy Profile

  11. sippitysup says:

    Another restaurant worthy meal! I love the plating. GREG
    sippitysup recently posted..Soleto Trattoria & Pizza Bar’s Sautéed CalamariMy Profile

  12. You’ve motivated me to use my stock of back rice and the addition of mirin and curry paste is fab. This whole meal is stellar and has JOAN written all over it :)

    chow:) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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  13. Katie says:

    I have never heard of or tried black rice. I’m always learning about new ingredients, techniques or presentation ideas from your blog, Joan!
    Katie recently posted..Estofado de carne | Beef RaguMy Profile

  14. Born27 says:

    This is a complete and healthy meal for me. Asparagus is so crunchy and love it with a dip.
    Born27 recently posted..Reservationless teleconferenceMy Profile

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