Sweet and sour fish

For months, my boyfriend and I were in discussion about cancelling the cable. We were sick of Time Warner’s monopoly, and were looking for ways of reducing monthly expenses. About a month ago, I left the apartment to do some errands while he made “The Call.” I returned home to an upgraded cable package for a marginal cost reduction. Of course. We all knew it wouldn’t work. They get you every time. But now I have the cooking channel, and oh what a difference it has made. What I most enjoy is flipping between the Food Network and Cooking Channel quickly. It’s a study in contrasts, before and after. trashy vs. classy, down on the ranch vs. cosmopolitan (if somewhat Sex and the City version of cosmopolitan), crisco vs. extra virgin olive oil, white bread American vs. fashionably ethnic, Guy Fieri vs. Mario Batali, Sandra Lee vs. Alton Brown. I can still feel myself being pandered to by Cooking Channel’s selection, the look and feel, the music and ads, but man did they do their research. Damn them for knowing me so well. One thing I appreciate about the Cooking Channel, that keeps me hooked is that they have shows that attempt to deal with Asian cooking. This recipe comes straight from Ching He Haung’s Easy Chinese: San Francisco. It is indeed easy, tasty and natural –no gloopy sauces or red dye. Pineapple juice and a little brown sugar for sweetness, and some firm white fish. While the Food Network continues to lower the bar (with the exception of Ina Garten, Anne Burrell and Giada De Laurentiis), I’ll continue to ignore them and find my recipes elsewhere.

Sweet and Sour Fish

  • 1 lb firm white fish, cut into large chunks (I used cod)
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 can pineapple chunks
  • 1 small onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger, sliced
  • 1 red or purple pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • steamer (bamboo or otherwise)
Salt and pepper the fish and coat in a few tablespoons of the pineapple liquid from the can. Steam until just cooked (about 8 minutes) and put aside. In a wok or saute pan, heat some canola oil, and add garlic and ginger. Cook for a few minutes, then add the veggies, the white part of the scallion, minced, the sugar, vinegar, pineapple, pineapple juices and soy sauce. Cook for a minute or two. You could add cornstarch at this point to thicken, but I prefer not to. Add the steamed fish to the wok, and toss quickly with the sauce, so not to break up the fish, but heat it through. Serve on a place, garnished with the green part of the scallions, with rice on the side.