When Top Chef winner Hung Huynh cooks small pompano, he trims the head, tail and fins to square the fish, then cuts it into quarters: "I love to think I invented that presentation," he says. But the recipe is just as good with pompano fillets: The crispy-skinned fish stays moist and is delicious with the hot-sweet-tangy dipping sauce.
More Healthy Fish Recipes
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 Thai chiles, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 scallions—whites chopped, greens sliced, for garnish
1 large stalk of lemongrass, bottom two-thirds chopped
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro stems, plus sprigs, for garnish
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Four 6-ounce pompano fillets with skin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lime wedges, for serving
How to Make It
In a bowl, stir the lime juice with the fish sauce, chiles and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
In a mini processor, puree the garlic, scallion whites, lemongrass, cilantro stems, sugar, lime juice, salt and pepper to a paste. Rub the paste all over the pompano. Put the fish on a plate, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Scrape the marinade from the fish. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the fish, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until the skin is crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn the fillets, lower the heat to moderate and cook until just opaque throughout, about 2 minutes longer; transfer to plates, skin side up, and garnish with scallion greens and cilantro sprigs. Serve with lime wedges and the dipping sauce.
One serving 372 cal, 2 gm carb, 22 gm fat, 6.3 gm sat fat, 38 gm protein
Riesling, especially a light-bodied, citrusy Australian one, won't overwhelm this delicate fish.
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