• CRAIG BRYAN

Healthy Recipe, Sichuan Hot Pot-Style Fish




Sichuan hot pot is a tongue-tingling, belly-warming dish made by poaching sliced meats, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes noodles in a pot of spicy bubbling broth. It’s fun to eat, communal style, in a Chinese restaurant, but with its complex seasonings it’s not the kind of thing you might think to whip up on a busy weeknight.


With the help of Sichuan peppercorns and a few handy condiments from the Asian section of the supermarket, this light and healthful rendition conjures those hot pot flavors quite admirably. It’s slightly adapted from a recipe from “The Comfortable Kitchen.” Coconut aminos is a savory liquid similar to soy sauce that’s acceptable in paleo diets, but if all you have is soy sauce or tamari, feel free to use those instead. Just beware they’re somewhat saltier, so go easy on the salt shaker. Serves 4. RECIPE HERE. – Susan Puckett


Ingredients

· 2 tablespoons avocado or vegetable oil

· 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch matchsticks

· 4 scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch lengths

· 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into very thin matchsticks

· 2-4 Thai red chiles, depending on your heat tolerance (or ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes)

· 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

· ½ teaspoon ground white pepper

· 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chile paste)

· 1 cup low-sodium seafood stock (or vegetable broth) ¼ cup coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce or tamari)

· 1 teaspoon fish sauce

· 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

· 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns

· 1 ½ pounds skinless fish fillets (cod, halibut, salmon, grouper), thawed if frozen, cut in 2-inch pieces

· 1 cup mung bean sprouts

· Kosher salt

· Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

· 1 ½ cups steamed white rice for serving (optional)


Instructions


1. In a large, deep saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering.

2. Add the celery, scallions, ginger, chiles, garlic, and white pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the gochujang, stock, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and rice vinegar.

4. Place the peppercorns in a plastic bag and gently crush with a meat pounder or the back of a heavy skillet, then add the crushed peppercorns to the sauce.

5. Carefully add the fish chunks and bean sprouts and spoon the sauce over the fish to coat. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the fish is just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.

6. Taste for seasoning and add a little salt if you like. Place a scoop of rice in each bowl (is using), ladle the fish and sauce over the rice, and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot, with chopsticks if desired, and soup spoons.


Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.

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