Saturday, December 27, 2008

Feast of the Seven Fishes - Southeast Asian Style

Cured Salmon Four Ways

We continued our Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve dinner tradition this year with a bit of a twist. We have been making a lot of Vietnamese and Thai food recently, and decided to use flavors from that part of the world as the inspiration for this year's feast.

Without further ado, here are the seven dishes:

Oysters with Vietnamese Ginger-Chili Mignonette Oysters with Vietnamese Ginger-Chili Sauce

The Barron Point oysters had a nice sweet and salty flavor and a ton of liquor. A small dash of the ginger-chili sauce added a nice kick.

Cured Salmon Four Ways Cured Salmon Four Ways

Probably the most successful dish of the evening. A thick piece of salmon was cured 48 hours using our standard cold-smoke dry cure (kosher salt, brown sugar, white sugar, white pepper, clove, allspice, mace and a touch of pink salt). We served four slices seasoned in four separate ways: fresh lemon - zest and juice; shallot, parsley and lime; fresh lime - zest and juice; ginger-chili and fish sauce. All four tasted very different from each other, and all four were great.

Thai Steamed Mussels Thai Steamed Mussels

A simple dish of steamed black mussels with coconut milk and green curry.

Vietnamese Salad with Smoked Trout and Bitter Greens Vietnamese Salad with Smoked Trout and Bitter Greens

Slices of "house-smoked" trout over a salad of watercress, Belgian endive, and quick-pickled carrot, daikon, cucumber and shallot. Both the trout and the salad were really good, although they weren't a perfect match for each other.

The next three dishes we served together family-style, along with steamed rice and sautéed mustard greens.

Ginger Fish
Ginger Fish

Not much to look at, but very tasty. The ginger flavor was very intense, and the fish (rock cod) had nice texture.

Squid in Caramel Sauce Squid in Caramel Sauce

We have done a number of caramel sauce dishes with other ingredients, and thought that the flavors would go well with squid. They absolutely did, although the squid let off a fair bit of liquid during cooking, resulting in a more loose sauce than we were looking for.

Napa Cabbage Soup with Shrimp Dumplings Napa Cabbage Soup with Shrimp Dumplings

A very pleasantly savory, but fairly mild tasting soup. It made a perfect accompaniment to the other, more strongly flavored dishes.

All in all, a very fun meal! We would happily make any of these dishes again - maybe with the odd tweak or two.

If you enjoyed these dishes, check out our seven fish dinner from last Christmas Eve.


  1. Yum.

    But I'm looking around for the Send-Me-A-Care-Package-With-Every-Blog-Post button like I suggested, and I'm not seeing it yet. What's up with that?

  2. mmm I love cured salmon, and this is top-notch. Fabulous!

  3. James - I don't think our blog budget would support that feature...

    Gail - thanks! This was a particularly nice piece of fish, which makes all the difference.

  4. Don't know which has left me more speechless, the food or photography. Both are breathtaking.

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Koko. We got a new photography light recently which has helped a lot. Still using a little point-and-shoot camera, though. I need to upgrade to a DSLR one of these days...

  6. Well done Mike! and the pictures are fantastic.
    Hope you had a wonderful Holiday.

  7. Thanks, Joe! We had a very nice holiday. Hope you did, too.

  8. Hei, guys and Happy New Year since i haven't talked to you in a while. I tried and tried to write back at the homemade bacon, but my comment failed to be published several times, so i gave up. I am back now reading your blog, and i couldn't pass the chance to say something, especially about this post, which is just to my liking. The dishes are amazing, the photos beautiful, and my mouth watering badly.
    Congrats for your 141 posts, the food looks delicious, and you always make me change my plans for dinner :)). Keep up the good work, and since we don't live that far away, i hope some day we cross roads.

  9. Thanks, Roxana - it would definitely be fun to meet you sometime!

  10. what was the cure for the salmon? i know this is an old post but would love a response.


  11. You can find the cure ingredients in the post - under the second picture of salmon.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.