Salmon in hot bean sauce

This fantastic recipe was taught to me at culinary school years ago and is still one of the most requested dishes both by my family and friends .it has the best combination of flavors but is very Chinese seafood dish I have made. Originally this dish was made with Carp but I switched over to Salmon,a more widely available fish and touted for its great vitamin content. The best point with this dish is it can be under cooked and heated and finished cooking just prior to serving.

Photograph by Ashish Mahtani

2 lb Salmon        1  1/2 tbsp chopped ginger root ( fresh please)

2 tbsp chopped fresh garlic

3 scallions,diced

2 tbsp hot bean sauce ( available in Asian markets)

2 tbsp dry Sherry or Rice wine

1  1/2 cup stock

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

2 tsp vinegar

1/2 cup peanut or corn oil ( I use Canola oil)

Clean the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Make 3 cuts on each side of the fish.

Put ginger,garlic and hot bean sauce on a plate.

Combine Sherry or Rice wine, stock , sugar and soy sauce in a cup.

Sprinkle salt on both sides of fish just before frying . heat a wok until hot. Add 5 tbsp of  oil and swirl it around. heat it until very hot. Slide the fish into the oil and fry until golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Remove the Fish and oil.

Add 3 tbsp fresh oil and heat until hot. Add ginger and stir fry until fragrant. Add the hot bean sauce. Stir fry a few times.

Add the fish, the stock mixture . Bring to a boil. Cover and cook in medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn fish over and cook 5 more minutes or until done. Remove fish to a serving dish.

Restir the cornstarch mixture. Add it to the sauce,stirring all the while until it thickens. Add the vinegar, scallions, stir and pour over the fish.


Thai crab salad with fresh mango

In the summer I am obsessed with freshness,from fruit to seafood. I adore the simple abundance of herbs in my small herb garden,especially the fresh green chilis,cilantro and Thai basil.Wish I could grow tropical fruit such as Lychees and Mangoes but….the market will have to supply those. While away at college,yearning for a home cooked meal,my son,Ashish e mailed me a list of items he would love to eat during his summer home,this crab salad was one of the first requests.It is best to prepare this with the freshest of ingredients,as it is a simple salad and each ingredient contributes to its explosion of taste in your mouth.

Chef Tony Wrigley,Rockfish restaurant,Phuket Thailand

Photograph by Ashish Mahtani

Serves 1

1/2 cup cooked crab meat

1/2 diced mango

2 to 3 sliced Thai chilis

2 green onions,sliced

a few sprigs cilantro,roughly torn

a few Thai basil leaves,roughly torn

1/4 cup ry roasted peanuts

2 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp canola oil

juice of 1 fresh lime

some chili sauce for presentation

Gently toss all ingredients so as not to break the crab meat. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve.

Easy grilled mint shrimp

These shrimp are as great to look at as to taste.Whenever the weather turns warmer we chose to grill,its easy clean up it the greatest incentive. I typically marinade these shrimp at least 1/2 an hour before grilling but no more than 1 hour.You could use either shelled or unshelled shrimp,but,I always find the shrimp to retain more moisture when grilled shell on.

1  1/2 lb  shell on jumbo shrimp (unshelled shrimp would be about 1  1/4 lb)

1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves

1 to 2 serrano chillis,minced

4 cloves garlic,minced

juice of 1/2 small lime

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper or white pepper

salt to taste

zest of 1 lime

1/8 cup canola oil.

Combine all ingredients together,except for shrimp, in a food processor to blend well.

Place shrimp in a plastic resealable bag and pour marinade over. Seal bag and gently massage marinade on to shrimp, making sure each piece is coated. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Heat grill to medium hot. Grill shrimp about 2 minutes per side, DO NOT OVER COOK.

Place on serving dish and squeeze lemon or lime  before serving.

Prawns in Garlic Sauce

Prawns , commonly known as ( Jumbo ) shrimp , are a staple in my freezer . They are a quick , delectable  and easy to cook , making it just great for any weeknight dinner .  This sauce is a cross between Thai and Chinese with some Indian influence , ofcourse , as it comes from famed Indian chef and cookbook author , Nita Mehta. I did add some Sriracha hot sauce to the sauce as my family loves spicy food , I also added 2 tbs of sherry in the very end as a finishing touch to the dish.

Serves 6

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

12 prawns , shelled and deveined , tails intact

Oil for frying


1 egg lightly beaten

1 tsp salt

1/2 -1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp MSG ( optional )

1 tsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1/4 cup cornflour


2 tbs garlic paste ( 10 to 20 flakes of garlic , crushed to a paste )

2 tbs oil

3 tsp soy sauce

2 tbs ketchup

1  1/4 tsp ground white pepper

3/4 tsp salt

2 tbs cornflour mixed with 1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp MSG ( optional )

2 tbs sherry ( optional )

1 tsp sriracha ( optional )

Beat egg lightly with salt , sugar , msg  , oil , pepper and cornflour.

Add prawns to this mixture , stir and leave to marinate for 30 minutes .

Heat plently of oil in wok . Drain off excess marinade from prawns and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes until golden .

Drain well and place on paper towel .


Heat oil and fry garlic on low heat till it starts to change its color.

Add ketchup , pepper , salt and soy sauce . Cook 1 minute .

Add sugar( and msg and sherry)Add water . Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes .

Add cornflour slurry , stirring all the time , until the sauce thickens . Remove from heat .

Add the fried prawns and heat through . Serve hot garnished with sliced spring onions.

Cajun fried rice

Ever wonder what to do with leftover cooked rice? The best idea is fried rice ,ofcourse…think Chinese or for a refreshing spicy one pot meal try Cajun. This is a quick ,colorful and delicious.

Makes 5 cups

Source Cuisine.

1 cup chicken breast , cubed into 1 inch pieces

1 cup Kielbasa or andouille sausage , bias cut

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

8 oz large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup yellow onion , diced

1/2 cup green bell pepper,diced

1/2 cup celery ,diced

3 cloves garlic ,minced

2 tbs low sodium chicken broth

2 tbs dry sherry

2 tbs fresh lemon juice

Several dashes Tobasco sauce

1/2 cup diced Roma tomatoes (about 2)

2 cups cooked ,cold white rice


4 scallions ,bias cut

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.

Toss chicken and sausage with paprika ,salt , cayenne and thyme. Heat 1 tbs oil in a 14 inch non stick skillet over high heat. Add meats and stir fry 5 minutes.Add shrimp and cook about 2 more minutes, until just pink.Remove meats and shrimp ,set aside.

Add 1 tbs oil to skillet and stir fry onion, green pepper , celery and garlic until soft , about 3 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK . Stir constantly to prevent scorching.

Pour in  chicken broth ,sherry , lemon juice and tobasco, stir to coat and simmer for 2 minutes . Add diced tomatoes , reserved meat and shrimp (plus accumulated juices) and salt to taste. Stir to combine.

Stir in rice and scallions; continue to stir fry until rice is warmed through, about 2 more minutes ,careful not to overcook the shrimp.

Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Chile -Lime Crab salad with Tomato and Avocado

While trying to put together a menu for my son’s upcoming graduation party , I came upon this recipe amongst my many clippings . This is a vibrant , somewhat spicy salad from up and coming chef  Sue Zemanick . It is always a pleasure to prepare something so delicious and easy to make , it is , however important to use good lump crabmeat .

Serves 4

Sue Zemanick

5 Tbs fresh lime juice

2  1/2 Tbs extra -virgin olive oil , ( I use Monini brand , available at speciality food stores )

2  1/2 Tbs vegetable oil

1 Tbs very finely chopped Jalapeno

1 Tbs chopped cilantro , plus cilantro leaves for garnish

1/2 Tbs honey

1/2 tsp minced garlic

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 lb lump crabmeat , picked over

1  1/2 Hass avocado , diced ( 1/2 inch)

1/3 cup minced red onion

1 Large heirloom tomato , cut into 4  1/2 inch thick slices

Tortilla chips for serving

In a small bowl combine the lemon juice with the olive oil , vegetable oil , jalapeno, chopped cilantro , honey and garlic . Season the dressing with salt and pepper .

In a small bowl toss the crab with 3 Tbs of the dressing and season with salt and pepper .

In a medium bowl  gently toss the avocado with the red onion and 2 Tbs of the dressing ; season with salt and pepper .

Place a tomato slice on each plate and season with salt . Top with the avocado and the crab and garnish with the cilantro . Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and serve with the tortilla chips .

Crab Cakes with Thai Chile-Mango sauce

At Tao , in NYC , you are completely enveloped in beautiful artifacts from much of the far east including the famous 16 foot Buddha . It is the perfect ambiance for the Pan -Asian menu , including these amazingly succulent crab cakes with a triple dose of mango , “in the cakes , sauce and chutney .

Serves 4

Chef Sam Hazen , Tao restaurant NYC


1 cup Thai chile sauce

1/2 cup mango puree

Combine and mix well .


1/4 cup diced mango

3/4 tsp chopped bird chiles

1/2 cup Thai chile sauce

Mix together ingredients gently


1  1/2 lbs crabmeat , jumbo lump , picked clean

1/2 cup mango diced

1  1/2 tbs kaffir lime leaf , chiffonade

1  1/2 tbs Thai chile sauce

6 tbs mayonnaise

2 tbs diced shallots , sauteed

Salt  and pepper to taste

very fine panko for dredging

Grapeseed or canola oil for frying

Mix first nine ingredients together and shape in 4 molds . Dredge in panko . Pan fry at medium heat in a little oil until golden . Remove to paper towels to drain .


Pour a pool of sauce on each of 4 plates . Place a crab cake on each plate and garnish with Asian greens or marche if desired.