While I do occasionally crave for the simplicity and rusticity of plain fried fish, I’m not one to find comfort nor satisfaction in having it served the same way every time. Sure, I like the vinegar and patis dipping sauce with a couple of bird’s eye chilies crushed directly into the mixture, but… you know, I like variety.
When Speedy came home with about a third of a large tanigue, I cut the fish into steaks (see the difference between fish steak and fish fillet). I seasoned the steaks with the basic salt and pepper combo then I fried them. But since I had six fish steaks, I served three with wasabi mayo and the other three with… well, that’s the next post. I’ll stick with fried fish with wasabi mayo for now.
The fish was fried in a mixture of palm oil and sesame seed oil. It’s amazing how much depth sesame seed oil adds to food. The smell is fantastic; the flavor is even better.
Wasabi mayo is just mayonnaise mixed with wasabi paste. They’re great together just like that. But to give the sauce a kick, I added rice vinegar. Not much. Just enough to thin out the sauce and make it pourable. Rice vinegar is mild and a bit sweet so, if you prefer something more tart, use lemon, lime or kalamansi juice. That should add punch to the kick.
Pat the fish steaks dry with kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat the cooking oil and sesame oil together. Pan fry the fish steaks over high heat, about three minutes per side (it's a crime to overcook fish, seriously).
While the fish are frying, mix together the mayonnaise, wasabi paste, parsley and enough rice vinegar to make the mixture just pourable. Taste and add salt, if needed.
To serve, drizzle the sauce over the fish. For added texture and flavor, top with toasted seaweeds (available in the grocery) and sesame seeds.
Coming up: Fried fish with pesto and a whole new way to enjoy salted egg and tomato salad.