It feels really weird around here lately. We are walking towards the end of our fourth year in the States and the friends we made during this period are now leaving. First you feel happy for them, for the new possibilities in their lives; but suddenly you realize they are actually LEAVING!
I know it is something to expect when you are a student living in a university environment right? And that is a familiar feeling I have been experiencing since my college days. But still, it is hard to get used to it.
The aggravate factor is the majority comes from a different and sometimes pretty distant land. We had friends moving from the neighborhood to the next city, some moving to Pittsburg and others returning to Guatemala, Puerto Rico and even Philippines. When are we going to meet again? Who knows?
All I know is I’ve been learning a lot with all these good people and their different ways of seeing and tasting the world. The time we spent together – that now seems like it has not been enough – was sufficiently strong to carve lasting memories. For many, many times these memories were built around either a table or a fire place. I ate pupusas with Xenia, drank coquito made by Ana and was introduced to s’mores by Bianca.
Of course all these friendships go far beyond the world of food. But still, I am a strong believer of something I have told you before: people we love will always be present through the tastes of the food we ate together.
Ok, I better stop now. I am missing my friends very badly….
Part of this recipe was given by my friend Donna from Filipinas. I was looking for something different to go along with my fish and she kindly made me this Chinese inspired ginger and garlic sauce to go along with the recipe.
. Saute garlic, scallions and ginger in the olive oil.
. Add chicken broth, soy sauce, sherry, sugar, oyster sauce and bring to a boil.
. Simmer to reduce the sauce for about 15 minutes.
. Blend together cornstarch and water.
. Add to simmering sauce and cook about 30 seconds more.
You can also substitute 1 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce for the sugar and oyster sauce.
You can add 1/2 tsp. chili sauce (sriracha or chili garlic sauce) for a spicy sauce
Now, prepare the fish. I make this recipe a lot, sometimes using tilapia, sometimes swai, and can’t give you enough reasons for you to give it a chance. It is easy, quick, gluten free, tasty and, the most important, baked, which makes it a super healthy option for any meal.
Corn flake crumb combined with sesame seeds give it an extra crunchiness and help to keep the fish moist. Oh, and if you opt for swai there is no need to toast the sesame seeds, just increase the final baking time in 5 minutes.
. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
. Season the fish with salt, garlic, lemon zest, black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
. Combine sesame seeds and corn flake crumbs in a shallow plate and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
. Dredge both sides of each fish file with this mixture and place them in a single layer, in a baking sheet.
. Bake for 10 minutes and that is it my friend!
For a complete meal I suggest you to serve the fish coated with the sauce in a bed of arugula and finely sliced radishes.