Saturday, April 23, 2011

Confessions of an Ugly Sole

He is, in our home, the master chef. He is the voice inside my head whenever I am in the kitchen.  A perfectionist, he is particular about how vegetables are cleaned, chopped, sliced or diced. Come to think of it, he's particular about everything- from the cut of the meat or poultry, to the ripeness of vegetables and the freshness of the seafood which he buys in the wet market. He is a fan of slow-cooked food but likes fastfood burger (yes, McDonald got it right in their commercial, I guess, except Papa is old school and likes Tropical Hut better). Watching him cook is like watching celebrity chefs live in the studio. In a way, he's my first kitchen superstar.
A few nights ago,  I tried my hand at making steamed sole based on the memory of the dinner Papa made once. I remeber him steaming the fish to perfection, the skin all buttery and the fish flesh  succulent. He made a soy-based dipping sauce that was distinctly asian with ginger and coriander.

And so based on a memory, I made my own version. Sole or dapa is a tricky fish to cook as the it is flat and hard to clean without breaking any major bones. I was cooking it Asian style with the head on and nearly broke the jaw of the poor dead fish.

I had forgotten to ask the fish monger to scale the fish so I had to scale the fish by scraping the knife on its skin.
What I missed was cutting the spiky fins. And after steaming the fish... it had turned into one scared mother F.
The dipping sauce was great but no matter how I tried to plate it... A still refused to eat it because it looked like some Jurassic sea creature.
And so, I ate the fish on my own. And having overcooked it, the skin was rubbery and the flesh, though firm, was a bit dry.  Eating my mistake is always a humbling lesson in kitchen.

I guess, I have to try again and probably ask papa how I can make this dish right.

1 comment:

  1. that's one scary looking monster. haha! sabi nga ni mommy, 'tira ng diyos' :-p