Sunday 30 May 2010

“No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise.” IF prompt is 'slither'

A mackerel remarked to a trout:

"So what was that swordfish about?

I found him quite rude

with a bad attitude

and a pointy and dangerous snout!


fish.fishFish Fish - 2009 

I have deep and abiding devotion

For what lives on the floor of the ocean.

There's nothing profounder

Than coral and flounder,

And the benthos is god's greatest notion.




Whether slippery, silvery, slithery, shiny, sleek or scaly – fish are undoubtedly the jewels of our underwater world.  And you can eat them.  Unless you're a vegan - obviously.


 "Ruling a large kingdom is like cooking a small fish." ~ Lao-tse, Chinese philosopher

In other words....handle gently and never overdo it.




Sea bass with its firm, large-flaked, juicy white flesh, is the perfect candidate for baking in foil. This is SO easy and quite divinely delish.  (Bows low to esteemed Mpishi Janie)

  • 1 sea bass (about 1.5kg), scaled and gutted
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 6-8 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 fat red chillies, deseeded and thinly shredded.
  • a walnut-sized piece of fresh ginger, slivered
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • A good squirt of fresh lime juice
  • A pinch of sugar and sea salt

Heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4. Score the fish 2-3 times on both sides and lay it on a sheet of well-oiled foil, shiny side up. Sprinkle inside and out with spring onion, ginger, soy, sugar, salt, lime juice and a little more oil. Fold the foil over the fish and then make a double fold over the top and tuck in the sides.

Bake the fish for 25-35 minutes, depending on its thickness. Test for doneness with your thumb - the flesh should bouncy but firm. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before unwrapping. Serve with lime quarters, a sprinkle of the slithered chilli and more spring onions.

You could also whack this on the BBQ if the sun in shining and you feel so inclined. (Turn it over after about 10-ish minutes on one side.)

still life fishDoodle Fish ~ 2008 








Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

I don't know Tessa, this post seems a little fishy to me! ;-)

L'Adelaide said...

hah, what a great post...i am wondering about the recipe and whether it would work with salmon or something bland like halibut, that, to me, always needs a bit of spicing up...any ideas, come on over and share, my dear...loved this post and now I can talk to scuba-diving visiting son about a fish he will think I know NO THING about :) heehee- how surprised he will be...and loved your painting-as always...this whole post was quite grand...

hoping you are doing happily well! or at least fair to middlin' :) xxxooo♥

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I love fish. I am bothered about sustainability and not convinced that I am getting the right information so feel I am thrashing about a bit in trying to make decisions I am happy with. Now seabass is wonderful. Is it sustainable? Can I eat without guilt?

Rosaria Williams said...

Oh, I'm hungry now! Lovely recipe.

Linda Sue said...

I love fishies, if they are gold and swimming in a circle in a glass bowl. Never liked to dine on fishies...I would not be a very good Norwegian, I guess. I do love the colourful fishies that you have posted, however.

Webster said...

Oh, you have painted two lively and lovely fish that I think would be scrumptious and lovely on a platter for dinner. You choose the wine.

Ces Adorio said...

I LOVE EVERYTHING about this post. The poetry, words, the FABULOUS ART!!! Very different but oh so wonderful. Of course the fish! I LOVE FISH! but we only eat wild caught king salmon and halibut from Alaska. I order them in 50-pound batches so they give me a discount. When my son is hungry, he just pan-sears a fillet and finish cooking it in the microwave. It is so cute to see him cooking for his girlfriend. Haaay.

Tessa, my friend Deborah gave me specimen of Quercus coreolopsis, the largest oaks in the US but I have no canyon in my backyard so I just planted them on little pots right now. They are sprouting. I remember the oak you planted for me in your yard and that brings a smile to my face.

I hope you have a lovely day Tessa. I grew up surrounded by seas and the Pacific Ocean. Sigh*** They have received so much abuse from ignorant people including dumping trash as a foundation for new man-made islands. STUPIDSTUPIDSTUPID!!! Argh. I am getting hot.

Tessa said...

Bonnie, you're spot on. It is exceedingly fishy...but very delishy, I promise!

Hello Linda Muse of all Muses - yes, this recipe would definitely add a bit of spice and zippitydoodaa to salmon or halibut. Good thinkin', gal.

Elizabethm: I agree, it bothers me as well so I keep a list on my kitchen pinboard just as a reminder. If you click on the little blue 'sustainable fish' badge on this post it'll take you to a link with a pretty comprehensive list of what can (or can't) be eaten without feeling guilt-ridden. Sea bass is definitely guilt free eating....for now, at least.

Lakeviewer, hello! I'd love to share some fishy recipes with you. I'll bet you've got some great ideas living as you do on the stunningly beautiful Oregon coast.

Linda Sue - you crack me up every time, sistah! You'd made a wonderful Norwegian...or anything else you choose to be. You really don't have to dine on fishies to qualify. Looking at them, whether in a bowl or submerged with them under the sea is, blissfully therapeutic.

Webster, so pleased you approve of the fish! Now, wine....we need zing and freshness, so I reckon we look for white wines produced from cooler climates - think coastal, mountainous or just downright chilly. The Hemel and Aarde Valley in the Cape produces some beauties such as Bouchard Finlayson's Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc. How's that sound to you? Ummmhhmm, could do with a glass right now this minute!

Madame DeFarge said...

Not a big fish fan, but the recipe sounds delish!

Clarity said...

I was away after the post about our dear friend. Back now and almost salivating (if my ladylikeness wouldn't stop me) over that .... quote! Lao Tse was rather clever.

Of course over that recipe too ... it is almost the exact recipe my sister made with a halal chicken we tried from a local shop. So scrumptious.. I am looking forward to lunch now. Peace, X


haha love this post! thanks for sharing the recipe - yum. And I love your take on Slither - so true ♥

pink dogwood said...

Love the Fish-fish artwork and your words.