Haddock in Rice Paper With Shallot and Soy Sauce
4 Vietnamese rice paper disks or spring roll wrappers (8½ inches in diameter; see note)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
4 skinless haddock fillets (5 to 6 ounces each, 3 to 4 inches across and 1 inch thick; may substitute hake, halibut or cod; see note)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped (3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (from about 12 stems)
1 large clove garlic, crushed, then finely chopped
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
¼ cup dark soy sauce (thicker and darker than regular soy sauce, and generally not as salty)
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
For the fish: Brush the rice paper disks or spring roll wrappers generously on both sides with water; let them sit on a nonstick surface (such as a silicone cutting board) for about 3 minutes to soften.
Combine the salt, pepper and tarragon in a small bowl, then sprinkle all of the mixture on both sides of the fillets. Place each piece of fish in the center of a softened disk or wrapper, then fold the paper around the fish to enclose it securely. Arrange the fish parcels seam side down on a plate. (At this point, the fish parcels can be covered and refrigerated up to a day in advance.)
When ready to cook, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, place the fish parcels seam side down in the skillet. Cook uncovered for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned, then use 2 spatulas to turn them over. Cover and cook for 2 minutes on the second side until the fish looks opaque, then remove the skillet from the heat. Let rest (covered) for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the fish to finish cooking in its own residual heat.
While the fish is resting, make the sauce: Combine the shallot, chives, garlic, vinegar, dark soy sauce, sugar and hot sauce in a small bowl.
Place the parcels on individual plates. Drizzle the sauce over and around them, and serve.
Cook's notes: When softened in cold water, Vietnamese rice paper disks make ideal edible wrappers. They are available at most Asian markets. If you use a thicker fish, such as cod or halibut, adjust the cooking times as needed.
@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving: 230 calories, 23 g fat (0 saturated), 21 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 31 g protein, 80 mg cholesterol, 1220 mg sodium.
Adapted from "Essential Pepin" by Jacques Pepin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011).
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