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Steamed Trout with Cilantro and Lime

As one of my New Year Determinations like so many thousands of people I set a goal to lose 10 lbs.  It seems that this 10 lbs really likes me because every three years I lose it and then somewhere inside the next three years it finds me again.  Alas, perhaps it is partially because I am a busy foodie.

This time though there will be no diet fad, no unsustainable workout regime, no decisions that I will be an aerialist to motivate 7 days a week exercise.  This time I am choosing a diet based on ayurvedic principals where I listen to my body and eat for my type.  I will drink a lot of tea and less wine and I will bike to work and do yoga three times a week. 

All diet food makes for a foodie a dull blog so my five loyal readers I will not put you through such torture – I promised tasty healthy food – so we will continue to have that. 

Here is a wonderful starter.  Steamed rainbow trout with chili pepper, cilantro and a hefty serving of lime juice.

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This is an adventure in Thai flavor and low fat cookery. First you find your healthy wild caught fish at your local co-op or organic grocer or your friend who fishes for sport and wants to feed you and your family.

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Serving size wise – one trout per person or 1/2 trout for small eaters. 

Gather your fresh cilantro, lime juice (either fresh or bottled), Red chili pepper, black pepper, garlic and some chicken broth.

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The recipe I began to follow but deviated from immediately asked me to put everything you see above in a mortar and pestal and pestal it until it was paste.  I tried that for about one minute and got no where – so I pulled out my trusty mini-cuisinart and threw the garlic, cilantro, black pepper, chili pepper, fish sauce, lime juice and hit blend.

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Far better result in 90% less time. Now on to prepping the fish.

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As I said, I deviated from the recipe quite a bit.  But based on experience cooking trout throughout the years I decided to be inspired by the flavors and go from there. 

To prepare the fish for steaming I salted each with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and red chili. I took a hefty serving of the cilantro lime paste and stuffed it inside each fish.  Fish ready for steaming I turned to preparing the pan.

Because I do not yet own a bamboo steamer which would making steaming fish a ton easier I improvised with my good ole' stainless steal vegetable steamer.  If you too are tool challenged in this same way just be careful when you place the fish into the steamer as it tends to tip to one side or the other.  Don't forget to put at least an inch of water in your pan.

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Next pour roughly a cup of chicken broth into the pan over the fish – in retrospect – if you have it – you could just steam the fish with chicken broth instead of water.  I used a combo and it turned out quite nice.

After the dousing your fish in broth now give them a good coating in the cilantro garlic paste.

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Cover and steam for 15 minutes.  Use two spatulas to get the fish out of the steamer on onto the plate – be careful again if you are using my improvised steamer because its will tip and your second fish will get a little extra broth bath – which only ruins your presentation just a little bit.

Here is my fish accompanied by yam oven fries and sesame brussel sprouts.

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Steamed Trout with Cilantro Lime Chili Paste

2 small to medium rainbow trout

4 garlic cloves

1/3 cup cilantro stems and leaves

1 Tbsp red chili peppers

1 Tsp black pepper

1 Tsp salt

2 Tbsp fish sauce

2 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth

Step 1:  Place the garlic, cilantro, black and red pepper, fish sauce, and lime juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. 

Step 2: Wash your fish and salt and pepper on the inside and outside.  Take the fish and place 2 Tbsp of the cilantro paste inside the fish cavity.

Step 3:  Prepare the pan and steamer with water and/or chicken stock.  Place your fish carefully into the steamer and pour chicken stock over them. 

Step 4: Cover each fish in cilantro paste cover the pan and steam for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Carefully remove the fish from the steamer and enjoy.


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