Fish Fillets with Asian Accents

The accents of Asian spices both hot, sweet, umami, and intense are perfect for fish fillets. Some believe that nothing enhances the flavor of fish better. The recipes below are for Black Cod, Halibut, Sea Bass, and Salmon, but the firm white fish fillet is ubiquitous and fungible in Asian recipes. We have highlighted and linked the very fresh fish that is sourced from day boats and sustainably fished by the quality fisherman supporting To-Table. Some of the more difficult spices to find are available through To-Table as well.


Poached Cod with Saffron, Ginger, Lemongrass, Kafir Lime Leaves, and Wok-Charred Vegetables

For the Wok Charred Vegetables

  • 2 bunches wild greens, collards, kale, escarole, or even fiddle head ferns
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 lemon

For the Sauce:

  • 2 pinches Saffron
  • 1/2 cup White Wine (e.g. Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil (or Olive Oil)
  • 1/2 cup Finely Minced Shallots
  • 1/2 cup thickly sliced fresh ginger
  • 2 Stalks Lemongrass (crushed with tool like a rolling pin)
  • 6 Kafir Lime leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 8 ounces Claim Juice (bottle)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 dash Kosher Salt to taste


  1. In large skillet, heat oil and add garlic. Salt and pepper cod and lightly sear fillets until a light brown. Remove fillets from pan.
  2. To skillet add: Lemon grass stalks, white part only, chopped; fresh ginger sliced; saffron; and kafir lime leaves; and water. Bring to boil and reduce liquid by half.
  3. Place cod back into the skillet with poaching liquid and poach for 4-6 minutes. Remove the fish fillets to a plate with paper towel to absorb liquid.
  4. For the Charred Vegetables: Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 2/3rds of oil and garlic cloves (thinly sliced) and let the garlic sizzle for about 1 minute. Add the greens to the wok and then carefully add the water (it will steam and may splatter). Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and steam the greens for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover the wok and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining olive oil and season with salt, toss once with tongs, and then cook for 3 to 4 minutes more or until the greens are charred to your liking.  Remove the wok from the heat and squeeze some lemon juice over the top.
  5. For the Sauce: First crumble the saffron and add it to the wine and let it steep for about 15 minutes until the saffron begins to color the wine. Add the oil to a medium skillet over medium heat and add shallots when oil is heated and cook until softened - about 2 minutes. Add the wine with saffron, kafir lime leaves, ginger and lemongrass stalk. Bring to a boil and cook until skillet is almost dry.  Add the clam juice and return to a boil cooking until it is reduced by half 6-8 minutes. Taste the liquid and remove leaves, ginger and lemongrass before their taste becomes too strong (flavor should be assertive as the cream will mellow the intensity). Strain the mixture into a bowl or glass measure pressing on the solids. Discard the solids and return liquid to the skillet. Add the cream, bring to a boil and reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon and has the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Keep Warm.
  6. In a deep plate or shallow bowl, arrange charred vegetables into circular and flat mound in center. Place a fillet of the cod on top of each mound. Gently spoon sauce around the vegetables. Garnish as desired.

Thai-Style Halibut with Coconut-Curry Broth

  • 5 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 10 shallots, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 6 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 3/4 teaspoon, plus more for seasoning
  • 10 (6-ounce) pieces halibut fillet, skin removed
  • Steamed spinach (Steam or microwave 10 cups of baby spinach for 3 minutes)
  • 1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 5 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
  1. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.
  2. Season the halibut with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange the fish in the pan and gently shake the pan so the fish is coated with the sauce. Cover and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 7 minutes.
  3. Arrange a pile of steamed spinach in the bottom of 4 soup plates. Top with the fish fillets. Stir the cilantro, scallions, and lime juice into the sauce and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the sauce over the fish and serve with rice.



  • 1 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce such as Tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1/3 cup Rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 4 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup Stevia Ganulated, Splenda, or brown sugar (use Stevia or Splenda for South Beach Diet.)
  • 4 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp. grated or ground garlic
  • 3 pinches of cayenne pepper or dashes of hot sauce
  • Red Pepper Flakes to taste
  • 3 and 1/2 Pounds Fresh Mahi Mahi
  1. Combine all ingredients (except fish) in a bowl. Put half of the mixture into zip-lock bags sufficient to contain fish fillets. Marinate for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Spray grill with non-stick spray or wipe with olive oil and preheat to medium high.
  3. Put fish on grill with top side down and grill 2-3 minutes (until you can start to see grill marks, I have to lift it up to see.) Rotate 45 degrees on same side and cook 2-3 minutes more to get criss-cross marks. Turn fish over and cook about 3-4 minutes more. Total cooking time will not be more than 8-10 minutes, The fish should feel barely firm when it’s done; don’t overcook. Serve hot, with dipping sauce on the side.

20 Minute Miso Glazed Sea Bass

  • Sea Bass (or any other firm white fish)- 3 1/2 lbs cut in portions
  • Miso Paste- 2/3 cup
  • Ginger- a 2 inch piece peeled & sliced
  • Garlic- 4 cloves peeled
  • Soy Sauce or Tamari (gluten free)- 2 oz
  • Sesame oil- 2 tablespoon
  • Mirin- 2 oz
  • Rice Wine Vinegar- 2 oz
  • Sambal Olek or other Garlic Chile Paste- 2 Tablespoon (optional)
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds- 2 teaspoon to garnish
  • Green Onion or Chives- 2 Tablespoon thinly sliced to garnish
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the fish into serving portions.
  3. To a blender cup add the miso paste, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, rice vinegar & Sambal Olek (Garic Chili Paste) if using. Blend well until everything is mixed & smooth.
  4. Add the fish to a large freezer bag or bowl & pour the miso mix over. Turn to thoroughly coat. If you have the time let the fish marinate for a bit. If not don`t worry, it`ll still be fabulous.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil (cleans up in a snap) & give it a quick hit with cooking spray. Bake for 8-15 minutes or until just cooked through depending on the thickness of your fillets.
  6. Garnish with a few toasted sesame seeds & a bit of sliced green onion.
  7. Serve immediately. Serve over grits and fresh vegetables and beans as above or with sides separately.

Caramelized Asian BBQ Salmon

  • 2 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce (like Mae Ploy)
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons quality hoisin sauce (like Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  1. Whisk together all of the marinade/glaze ingredients plus 2 teaspoon sesame oil. Add 1/3 cup of marinade to a freezer bag with salmon. Refrigerate the rest separately. Marinate salmon for one hour up to overnight (longer the better).
  2. SKILLET DIRECTIONS: When ready to cook, let salmon sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Separate reserved glaze in half. You will use half while cooking salmon and the other half after salmon has cooked.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add salmon and turn heat down to medium and sear until side is browned, about 4 minutes.
  4. Flip salmon over and spoon half of the remaining Glaze over salmon. Cook an additional 4-7 minutes depending on thickness and desired doneness (or until salmon reaches an internal temperature of 135° for medium). Spoon desired amount of remaining Glaze over individual servings and season with freshly cracked salt and pepper. Note the Glaze is very strong so you will want to taste before adding too much more Glaze.
  5. GRILL DIRECTIONS: When ready to cook, let salmon sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Lightly grease grill and heat grill to medium heat. Pat salmon dry. Grill, uncovered, for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork, flipping once halfway through grilling. When done, remove from grill and brush with Glaze and season with freshly cracked salt and pepper.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published