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Cabbage Steamed Fish with Miso Hollandaise

Edward Lee

Lesson time 28 min

Edward teaches how to steam fish packets filled with vegetables and a spicy marinade. From mixing the marinade, blanching and shocking cabbage leaves, and chopping vegetables, you will gain an array of essential skills. One of the most intriguing components is the creamy egg yolk sauce, which is a rich contrast to the light-tasting fish.

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Preview

– [Ed] This is one way to really punch up the flavor of fish. This technique takes a little bit longer, but to me, it’s like, you’re gonna get a better result. Lemongrass, you can just put this in your bathtub, take a nice soothing, relaxing bath out of it. You can turn into candles, I guess, but there’s a lot of application for this. How familiar are you with lemongrass? – I usually buy it in a tube. – Okay. That’s a wrong answer. Thank you for coming out here, we’re gonna cook together. Nikkia has been a part of our restaurant family for a number of years now. You were actually the first graduate of the Lee initiative mentorship program. And it’s been just amazing to see you grow and blossom and you run your own culinary program now. So I’m very proud to see where you are today. – [Nikkia] Thank you, chef. – And also to see where you’re gonna go from here too. Today I’m gonna challenge you a bit. – Okay. – And we’re gonna do some steamed fish. How you ever steamed fish before? – No. – Really? All right, good, good. I’m using snapper here today for this fish. But really any white flaky fish will work fine. You want something that’s gonna be delicate, cook quickly and will sort of, you know, almost fall apart. So cod works great. Halibut works great, snappers. Probably you wanna stay away from frmer fish, things like monkfish, and you probably don’t wanna do seafood with this, like shrimp or scallops. All right, in Asia, steamed fishes are like super prevalent everywhere, right, that’s like, you’ll see steamed fish way more than you’ll see seared fish. I think to me what makes Asian cooking really different from sort of Western style cooking is almost everything gets marinated in some way– – Flavor. – Flavor. So you’re less reliant on a sauce at the end because you’re already kinda putting the sauce and flavor into the protein. That’s kinda the one thing. So let’s start with a nice marinade. I’m gonna grab some garlic, I’m gonna need lemongrass and a habanero pepper from you. – Just one or you want this whole bowl? – Bring a few, bring a few. You wanna do a habanero eating contest– – No. – Before we start? Okay. Smart answer. Do you wanna start chopping– – Yeah. – I give you my knife? So, let’s do a pretty fine cut on everything. And now the pressure’s on, I’m watching you. Don’t cut yourself. Perfect, let’s go dump that into the bowl. – Cool. – And then I wanna talk about lemongrass real quick. To me, there’s no substitute for fresh lemongrass. Won’t you smell that. So, lemongrass as you know, like comes in this big stalk right here, right? And it sort of grows out of the ground like that. Most of this stuff on the top which is why they call it grass is leafy grass, which is really too hard to eat. So you really just, you know, unfortunately you’re really just using like a couple of inches off the bottom, and then of course you don’t want the root end either, so I’m gonna cut that off. So that’s it, that’s all you’re using. Now, I’m gonna even trim it down even further. So, you can see almost the layers there and the outside layers are gonna be too stringy and woody. Like you really can’t eat that. So you wanna peel back that outside layer and if you touch that, it’s like nice and tender now. – [Nikkia] Yeah or that’s like dry and brittle. – So what you’re gonna do here is cut it in half this way. – Okay. – I always say whenever you’re cutting something that is a round shape, right? You always wanna cut in half or flatten it out. So it stays steady, right? And it doesn’t move. All right, so why don’t you do that both of these for me. – Gotcha you. – Super thin. – So is there no way that you can use the upper part of the stalk? Like, you know how with carrots, you can do like something with the greens on top. – So I wouldn’t use this for a food application, but it’s really great to use for a tea, lemongrass tea. And you can actually steep this in simple syrup and use it as a base for sorbet. There’s a lot of application for this and really what I do is I’ll take all these and, because you usually only use a little bit of lemongrass at a time. So you can put them in a freezer bag and freeze them. And just again, just wait until you have enough collected. So anything you wanna infuse flavor, keep all this. I’m not gonna touch it at all, but you’re gonna cut that habanero. Yeah. Just cut the skin. If a couple of seeds get in that’s fine. But I don’t wanna use the seed ’cause that’s where the real spice is. Look at that? You’ve done this before. I want the fruitiness of the habanero and I want a little spice, But I don’t want it to like melt-your-lips-off spice. – Yeah. I mean, it’s not that scary, you know, you can get habanero sauce, at Pizza Hut. – Okay. Same thing really fine dice. – Okay – Super fine dice. All right, so while you’re doing that, I’m gonna get some of my sauces ready. – All right. Chef, why are you rolling those rail? – I just want the juice out of them and you know, just kinda pressing and pushing them a little to pre-squeezes some of the juice out, it breaks up some of the cell walls of the citrus. I’m just gonna juice one lemon and one orange. Right, here you go. Here you go, chef. – Thank you. – I got you. – Why don’t you use the zest? – You can, I’m just choosing not to for this. – And you don’t need a fancy gadget for this either, right you just got, you know, clean hands. – That’s it. Perfect. All right. So as you can see, I want this to be a nice chunky marinade. So we chopped them fine, but there’s still gonna be a lot of texture in there and sesame oil, about two tablespoons. I’m gonna do a little bit of soy sauce. Can you give me a little whisk while I’m doing that. – Now it smells good. – And then of course my favorite is fish sauce. Fish sauce is one of my favorite things. It’s so intense, you just need a few drops. You know, fish generally is just gonna be a bland, and I don’t say bland in like a negative way. It’s just, it’s a delicate flavor. So these flavors are gonna really sort of contrast and it’s really gonna penetrate the walls of that fish and just really punch it up with flavor. Mhm. – Did a good job? – Yeah, yeah. – Yeah, that’s nice. – You wanted more heat? ‘Cause it just got a little heat, I think it’s fine. – I mean, I’m not scared of more heat but, – I am. – No, I was kidding. – I am, see? All right, let’s put this off to the side, lets clean up our board, and we’ll start getting the cabbage ready. Beautiful, look how beautiful that is. Let’s take out the fish too. – All right. That’s pretty. – Isn’t that pretty? – Yeah. – Okay, so the dish we’re making is cabbage wrapped fish. Now say, I said that to you, what would you do? How would you make it? – I think what I would do is try to put the fish like in the middle where the stem is, where it’s most likely to break and then wrap the tucker leaves around it. – I don’t even have to teach you, just finish this by yourself. Part of what happens when you steam fish, right, is that a lot of moisture will cling onto the fish and you know, water doesn’t have flavor, so you’re gonna kinda dilute the flavor. So one of the things we do is we kinda insulate or wrap the fish in a cabbage leaf. So that any of the fish juices that sort of leach out stay inside your package. And then when you open up the cabbage, you have all, you’ve saved all their aromas. So the first thing we do is we can’t use this. So you see it’s really tough right now. So we’re gonna blanch them. I only use the outer layers of the cabbage. Make sure we have nice big pieces. The other thing I’m gonna do is if you notice, all of this outside stuff is pliable, but right here, you’ve got that stem which is really not, this is much thicker than everything else. So, but I don’t wanna ruin the integrity of the cabbage. So I’m just gonna take my knife and just kinda slowly, ’cause I don’t wanna put a hole in the cabbage either. So you see what I did there? – Yeah. – Now it’s kinda flat and now you can also bend it easily and remember just no pressure, but this is on camera. So like if you screw up and like the whole world’s gonna see it forever and ever and it’s never gonna go away, but no pressure at all, okay Nikkia. – Look at that. – No holes. – Look that very nice, add one more. – I felt like a surgeon. – Beautiful, beautiful. All right, so next thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna blanch these. – All right. – I’ve got some boiling water here on the stove. I’m just gonna throw a little bit of salt in it, not too much. You know, one more, a little handful. – So this doesn’t need to be salty like the ocean, like when you’re making pasta? – Not really. – We got a lot of flavors going on with the main– – A lot of flavors going on, I would do one at a time. – Okay. And then I’m gonna hold your bowl of ice water. As you know, what we call this is shocking, 40 seconds, right. Because it’s so hot it’s still gonna continue to cook the cabbage leaf. So that’s why we shock it. Put it in the ice water. It’s gonna stop the cooking and then we’ll be ready to go. – Cool. – Can you blanch, I’ll ice. Will you grab me a nice square of paper towel? – Yeah. – And so with each layer, I’m gonna actually put paper towel in between each layer. So it catches more of the water. Thank you. Perfect. All right. So here we go. Try and get all that water out. Look at that color, it’s so emerald green. It’s beautiful, it’s pliable. It’s gonna be a perfect wrapper for our fish. Grab me a mushroom and scallions. I’m gonna grab a little zucchini. – Are these shiitake? – Yup, shiitake. – These are my favorites. – So make sure it’s really important not to wash mushrooms. – Yeah, I like to dry. – Yeah, all I do is pull the stem off and really, you know, a lot of mushrooms now are grown indoors, so they’re pretty clean, but I just always check for a little soil. If you want, you can wipe them down with a paper towel, – Tell me how many of these you want, chef. – Ah, let’s see. Let’s do like one per fish. So do four or five. I’m slicing these on a bias. Which really all that means is I’m slicing it a little bit diagonally. And that gives me just a little bit longer threads of scallion. And I’m only using the green on this one, not the whites. Same thing with the zucchini. Can you do the yellow one and I’ll do the green one. So I’m gonna flatten it down then cut nice long ribbons. Then when you got nice each flat pieces, just gonna come around and make them thin. I did take a cooking class once when I was young, and the one thing I learned was the claw method. And it’s so funny because it’s like the only thing I remember from ever any lesson and– – You still have all your fingers, it must still worked. – I still have all my fingers. You kinda use that first knuckle there and you press your blade against that first knuckle. And that way, anytime you cook, instead of keeping your fingers out like this, where you could easily chop off their fingertips, you pull your fingertips in and you let that knuckle guide the knife, right. So scallion here, I’m gonna put all these in a big pile. I’m gonna bring the marinade back in. – [Nikkia] All right. – Here’s the moment of truth. We’re gonna build these leaves. Do you notice that there’s like a top and a bottom, right? – Yeah, you can tell– – Or an outside or an inside? So we want the nice outside little bit flatter and versus this, which is that inner side of the leaf. So, because we want this to be on the outside, we’re gonna always make sure that’s facing the cutting board. We have to think about this backwards a little bit, because when I wrap my leaf, I’m gonna want that to be the top. So if that’s gonna be the top, we’re kinda building it the other way around. Normally when you build something, you put whatever’s on the bottom, you put, but whatever we want on top has to go in first. Does that make sense? – Mm-hm. – Yeah. Okay. So we can’t start with the fish. So what we’re gonna start with is the scallion, a little bit of scallion, and a little bit of mushroom, then a little bit of zucchini, all right. Now, will you throw some marinade on top of that, nice big spoonful of marinade. Now, we’re gonna add the fish and I’m gonna salt the fish just slightly. I’m gonna leave the skin on because I love skin. It’s got flavor, it’s got little fatty layer under the skin. So let’s start with that. I’m gonna do, and again, for presentation wise, I’m gonna do the skin side facing up, okay? So just like that little bit more salt on the bottom and a little more marinade, please. So, let’s wrap this baby up. I generally do two sides, the two opposing sides first, and then kinda make a, tuck this guy in like so, and then tuck it in this way as well. And then you flip it over and that way, the seam kinda rests on the bottom and then the weight of the actual fish and then pack it we’ll keep it closed, right. – Got you. – If you actually did it the opposite way, it will all of a sudden, you know, while you’re cooking unfold, okay. So, I’m gonna put that right into my steamer. Now we’re gonna try and fit the other fish in here. So, it kinda fills the basket and the more you can fill the basket and make it snug, it won’t unravel on each other. ‘Cause there’s nowhere to move, right. – Well, it’s usually in cooking you’re like, don’t crowd the pan. – Yeah, exactly, exactly. And this, we actually wanna crowd it. – Awesome. – Okay. So, let’s go ahead and build another one. Scallion, mushroom, zucchini, nice spoonful of marinade and skin side down, a little more salt, a little more marinade. Okay, and ready for the tuck and fold. And let it snug, one, two, wanna come here, fold. – [Nikkia] Chef, do you wrap your Christmas presents? – I do not, I’m actually terrible at that, okay. And then we’re gonna flip the whole thing over and shape it and then they go into my steamer. A nice piece of fish, a little bit of salt there, a little marinate. Flip back over. My lid goes on. We say a little prayer and then we’re gonna steam them. Go ahead and put some water into this pan. Good. And then, remember the leftover lemongrass pieces? So what I’m gonna do is I’m actually gonna throw this on the bottom. So when it steams, I’m actually gonna steam this with lemongrass water. So it’s actually gonna make it a little bit more fragrant. Don’t put your steamer basket on here until it comes up to to boil. When I say 25 minutes to cook the fish, I mean 25 minutes once it starts to simmer. I’m telling you right now, I’m gonna wait for this to boil first and then put the fish on. – All right. – All right, now this water is boiling, can you smell a little bit of that lemongrass right now, already coming up. It’s gonna be really nice. And then you do wanna check just in case you sort of lift it up and you wanna check that you are getting steam. It’s already smelling beautiful, okay. And it’s funny, you know, I mean you can buy these steamer baskets online for like $10 and it’s cheap and it’s such a handy tool. I love stemming in this thing. So while that’s steaming, we’re gonna go make our egg yolk sauce. – All right, let’s do it. – Nice, although you’re really supposed to high five when it’s done. So for the sauce for this, I want something kinda rich and creamy. We’ve got a lot of sharp, bright flavors. So I want something rich and creamy to pair with it. So I have an egg yolk sauce that I’m gonna make. So do you wanna grab me three eggs and a little miso, – Okay. – But I need three egg yolks. – Okay. – So go ahead and separate my eggs, the whites from the yolks. – If I’m separating a lot of eggs, what I’d like to do is crack them all into the bowl and then I actually use clean hands. It’s a lot more gentle. My hands are less likely to pierce the yolk and then I drop it in. So you could also do the method where you crack it and then you just kinda move your yolk back and forth. – See, I never do that because I always just broke it against the edge of the eggshell. – So I like to use clean hands. – Broke an egg shell, broke an egg shell – I like to crack my eggs on the board because I feel like if you crack it on the side of the bowl, the side of your countertop, I see that happened a lot, then the shell’s more likely to pierce into the egg. Also, if you’re cracking on the countertop, it’s gonna fall on the floor. – Egg yolk sauce is like a mayonnaise. But it’s gonna use less oil than a mayonnaise. So it’s not gonna be as thick and we’re not gonna whisk it as hard. So it’s still gonna make kinda a runny sauce. It’s gonna be really delicious. And this is a perfect sauce for whenever you want something really creamy and unctuous on something it’s super fast, but it is a sauce that can’t stay at room temperature for a long time. You are using raw egg yolks. As soon as you make it, you kinda wanna use it pretty soon after. All right, so I’ve got that. You can start whisking. I’m gonna add about a tablespoon of miso. – And you can find miso pretty much everywhere now, right? – Miso it was like, you know, used to be things like Miso would be hard to find. I mean, you can find it pretty much everywhere now. Teaspoon of lemon juice. – [Nikkia] The first time I ever had miso, was in caramel at Milk wood. First time I’d ever tried it, worked with it. – And then just like a mayonnaise now, we’re gonna just slow drizzle and you’re gonna do all the hard work. – I see how you set this up– – While I just sit here and slowly drizzle. So this is a great suitor. So you really, you could use an olive oil on this, but I’m using a neutral oil because the miso is so strong that it’s gonna overpower any delicacy in the olive oil. I’m just eyeballing about a cup and then you see how it’s starting to get nice and creamy, the color gets a little lighter. I’m gonna taste this now. – This is something else you always taught me, was to have tasting spoons in my pocket and be prepared. – Look at you, I just use my finger. – It’s nice. – I’m gonna do a little bit of salt and I’m actually gonna do a good amount of pepper. – I really like the Miso in that I can tell that it’s gonna go really well with the fish. Really liked that you have your salt and your pepper in the bowls, dip your hand– – Yeah, you gotta feel it. – Yeah, feel it, yeah. – Okay. And then I’m going to, just a little orange zest and that oil and aroma is just gonna give it a little bit of a lift at the end. – And there’s orange juice in the marinade. So all these things start to connect, right? – Mm-hmm. – Let’s do that. All right, and then let’s go ahead and pour it into here. It’s beautiful, so again, it’s the principle of mayonnaise, but as you can see, it’s a lot runnier ’cause we want it to be a sauce, not necessarily a condiment that you spread, you don’t really wanna keep this at room temperature for too long, but you don’t wanna chill it either ’cause then, it’s gonna seize up. So, you know, this is something in the restaurant that we would call an à la minute sauce, right? Cooking is also about feel and touch, so kinda… Yeah, the one thing about this recipe is, you’re not really gonna know when it’s done. ‘Cause you can’t unroll the cabbage leaf. Once you hit that 22 to the 25 minute mark, you’re gonna be pretty good. So steam is actually the hottest kinda of heat that comes off. So be careful, it may look beautiful and innocent, but you can actually burn yourself pretty badly on steam. So we’re gonna lift that up carefully. Bring it to our cutting board. Oh, it’s beautiful. All right, so we’re gonna gently lift that up, right on our plate, beautiful. So there it is perfectly cooked, the cabbage’s still got its texture, It’s still got a little crunch to it. Hopefully everything inside is steamed and the fish is cooked through, okay. – I see what you meant about like doing that side. – Yeah, isn’t it pretty that way? All right, so would you like to do the honors? – Yeah, it’s like opening a present. – Cut right down in middle. – Right down the middle. – Don’t be shy about it. Fishes looks good. – That’s so pretty, and automatically you just smell all the beautiful aromatics– – Now watch what we’re gonna do. That’s it, steamed fish, egg yolk sauce. Now we can high five. All right, let’s dig in. You eat from over there and I’ll eat from over here. – Can I get some of this cabbage? – Yeah, get some of that cabbage. Yeah, perfect. Perfectly cooked fish. And what I love about it is, the fish is gonna stay real tender, right? Because it hasn’t been exposed to all that dry heat. Oh, so good. – I really think it’s really moist, ton of flavor. – I can actually smell a little bit of that lemongrass coming off the cabbage leaf. Put more of the sauce, right. – I’m not mad about it, put it all. – Perfectly cooked. Will you make this at home? – Yeah, it’s easy, it’s healthy. It has got so much flavor. I know my family would love this. – And it’s a fun way to present food. – Yeah.

About the Instructor

James Beard Award winning writer and best-selling cookbook author Edward Lee takes viewers from the farm to his restaurants and home in Louisville, Kentucky and teaches lessons on his beloved dishes including Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce, Oysters and Grits, Cabbage-Steamed Fish, and more.

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