For my last two meals made with the remaining kona kampachi, I chose two of my favorite recipes. Both dishes are pleasing to the eye, and quick to make. The first uses a sauce made from Thai curry paste, with a tangy slaw of cabbage, cucumbers, mint, and cilantro resting on top of the fish. The contrasting textures and flavors make this a memorable dish. I've made it before with salmon, and it worked very well here using the kona kampachi.
The other meal was kona kampachi fillets with warm saffron-tomato vinaigrette. The recipe, which can be found here, yields an impressive dish that takes just minutes to prepare. Take care with the saffron, it lends a delicious honey flavor, if used judiciously. But, use too much and it tastes like medicine.
All in all, my kona kampachi experience was quite enjoyable. I will certainly look for this fish at my market. Is it worth the cost of buying it by mail? I think so. I can see planning a sushi party and sharing the cost of the fish with others.
Kona Kampachi With Thai Red Curry Sauce, Cabbage Salad, And Jasmine Rice
(Adapted from Terra)
1 Cup Jasmine rice cooked according to directions or in a rice cooker
About 2 cups of thinly sliced cabbage
1/2 of a peeled thinly sliced cucumber
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons chopped mint
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced, peeled ginger root
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, cracked or pounded in a mortar and pestle
1-1/2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
2 Tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
4 Kona Kampachi fillets--about 6 ounces each ( You can substitute salmon)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and fresh pepper
1 Tablespoon coarsely chopped peanuts
Make rice and set aside to keep warm.
Make the salad by combining the cabbage, cilantro, mint and cucumbers in a bowl. Set aside. Make the dressing by mixing the soy sauce and vinegar in a small cup and setting it aside.
Make the sauce by heating the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic and ginger for several minutes, then remove from the heat and add the coriander seeds, cumin, paprika, curry paste and cook over low heat for 2 minutes to release the oils, stirring constantly. Do not let it burn.. Add the coconut milk, tomato paste, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Increase the heat and bring the mixture ALMOST to a boil, stirring constantly. Be careful and don't let it boil or it will separate. Remove from heat and keep warm, or reheat it very gently when ready to use .
Cook the fish by heating a heavy skillet and coating the surface with the olive oil. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. When the skillet is hot add the fillets and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the fish is brown and still translucent inside. Peek at the center of the fillets with the tip of a sharp knife. Don't overcook!
To Serve: When your fish is done, put about 1/2 cup of rice on a plate. Ladle some of the sauce around the rice. Place a fillet on top of the rice. Toss the salad with the dressing and place a tall mound of it on each fillet. Garnish with cilantro, and peanuts.