Five Spice Kingklip with Cabbage and Red Peppers

Five Spice Kingklip with Cabbage and Red Peppers (Serves 1-2)

I mean to eat fresh fish at least once per week, but sometimes canned sardines, tuna, or salmon are as close as I get. This week, however, I had a nice piece of wild caught kingklip. I wanted salmon when I went to the store, but all the salmon were farm-raised off the coast of Chile, so I decided wild caught kingklip was a better choice. Salmon is orange and fat while kingklip is white and lean, but I feel more comfortable with the diet of a wild fish than one raised on a farm.

Chinese Five Spice powder includes ground Sichuan pepper, fennel seed, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves and is a mainstay of Chinese cooking. The spice tastes bitter on its own to me, but not when cooked with food. I would not call the taste of kingklip dusted with five spice powder sweet, but I liked it a lot. Fish prepared this way goes well with stir-fried cabbage and red pepper.

Prep and cook time: 60 minutes

Ingredient list:

1 pound of kingklip (boneless fillet)
1 lemon
1/2 head of cabbage
1 big red bell pepper
Coconut oil
Coconut aminos
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (click here for my mayonnaise recipe)
Chinese Five Spice powder
Garlic powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Rinse fish and pat dry with a towel. Lay fish skin side down on the foil. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the fish. Dust top of fish with salt, garlic powder, and a generous amount of Five Spice powder. Spread mayonnaise evenly over the top of the fish.  Move fish to oven and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or a little longer if that’s what it takes for the fish flesh to flake easily with a fork. Meanwhile, chop about half a head of cabbage and one red bell pepper into bite-size pieces. Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil in a wok over medium heat. Add cabbage and bell pepper and stir to coat with oil. Dust vegetables with salt and garlic powder. Splash the vegetables with a generous amount of coconut aminos. Stir vegetables to mix everything and then cover to let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done, transfer fish and vegetables to plates and enjoy.

Notes: My kingklip had a few pin bones that I failed to pull before cooking. I just worked around them while eating, but you might want to pull them. Kingklip is a fish with a mild, sweet flavor and firm flesh. The kingklip has a head like a fish and a body that resembles an eel. Golden and red kingklip are considered the best varieties.

The sap of a coconut tree is a good source of amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, and broad-spectrum B vitamins. Coconut aminos are made from the sap and can be bought in many grocery stores. Coconut aminos are a healthy replacement for soy sauce, which is often too salty and is made from soybeans, which despite their pervasiveness in the American food supply, are not an especially good food.

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