Cape Capensis in Coconut Milk with Onion, Yellow Bell Pepper, and Kale (Serves 2-3)
Beef, lamb, and fish are probably the best protein sources we can eat. I buy grass-fed beef in bulk from my friends at DeGraan Farms, so do well eating beef. I don’t do as well eating lamb or fish. I pick up a lamb chop from the grocery store once per week at best, but am terrible about buying and eating fresh fish. I make salmon salad every two or three days, so eat some fish regularly, but fresh fish has been another story. If frozen fish counts, however, I may be about to become a regular fish eater. Whole Foods had a variety of fresh, frozen fish on display when I went shopping this past week and I bought 4 or 5 packs, including a pack of Cape Capensis. Cape Capensis, according to Inland Seafood, has a mild, sweet, and delicate flavor and is a fabulous substitute for Sole, Flounder & Orange Roughy. I prepared it with my tried and true coconut milk poaching technique and loved it. I could happily eat meals like this several times per week. The only trick is moving the fish to the refrigerator to thaw a day in advance.
Prep and Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
2/3 pound of Cape Capensis
1 big sweet yellow onion
1 big yellow bell pepper
2 or 3 big handfuls of fresh kale
1 13.5 ounce cans of coconut milk
Crushed red pepper flakes
Directions: Thaw fish in advance. Melt 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in wok or saute pan over medium heat. Rinse fish and cut into bite-sized cubes. Peel onion, chop into bite-size pieces, and add all the onion to the hot wok. Season with a dusting of salt and garlic powder. Cut yellow bell pepper in half, discard white membranes and seeds. Rinse, cut both sides into bite-size pieces, and add bell pepper to cooking onions. Season with a little more salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Add coconut milk to wok. Add fish and season with more salt, garlic powder, and paprika and add ground coriander, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add a generous splash of fish sauce. Cut fresh kale into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears and add to wok with a little more salt. Dunk everything in coconut milk. Cover and let everything cook 10 minutes. Check kale for tenderness and taste. Add spices as needed. Transfer to bowls and enjoy!
Notes: I like to dust ingredients with spices as I add them to the wok. I dust each new addition about as much as I think it needs. I do not use every spice at each addition. I tend to use more salt and garlic powder than anything else, but think each spice adds to the overall flavor. Tasting at the end is important because it is your last chance to add. Unfortunately, it is impossible to subtract spices. Occasionally I eat food that is hotter than I like because I got carried away with cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper. Oh well.
Fish sauce may stink when you add it, but don’t leave it out. The stink disappears within a few seconds and fish sauce adds a wonderful salty, nutty flavor. Hokan Fish Sauce (the brand in my grocery store’s Asian section) is made of only anchovies, water, and sea salt. I currently use Red Boat Fish Sauce from Amazon.com because I wanted to try something higher end. It stinks just the same and adds the same great flavor, but I feel more accomplished when I use it.
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