Friday, September 21, 2012

Fish Sauce Fixes Everything

In the summer of Fish Sauce, I learned that indeed, a grill plus fish sauce can turn even food I don't like at all into something I eagerly anticipate.  (True story!!).  When I found this recipe in Bon Appetit in July's issue, I got excited.  It used everything we had gotten in our CSA box this week, plus the ears of corn that were sitting in the fridge, waiting to be used.

The key to everyone eating this was serving things separately.  I had a bowl with the roasted corn in it, another with the rice, a third with the herbs, and a large dish with the rest of the roasted veggies.  We picked which one foods we liked and built our own salad.  

If you grill okra, the slime will go away.  Trust me on this one.  The amount of vegetables are just recommendations, you can use as much or as little of each as you want--knowing that will affect the number of servings.  I personally use more okra, because I actually really like it.

This serves 4 - 6.

Fish Sauce Fixes Everything
adapted from Bon Appetit

12 - 15 okra pods
3 ears of corn, shucked
2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise with insides scooped out
2 bell peppers
2 long red chiles (Holland or Anaheim) (optional)
1 - 2 small eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1" slices
1 T sea salt

1 t packed light brown sugar
2 T fish sauce
1 T lime juice

2 c (loosely packed) mixed fresh herbs--I like lots of mint and cilantro and some basil

4 c jasmine rice

Get the grill fired up--to a medium hot heat.  Combine the okra, corn, zucchini, bell peppers, chiles, and eggplant in a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and toss.  Grill the vegetables, turning frequently until they are crisp tender and lightly charred (about 8 minutes or so).  Place the chiles in a medium bowl and cover tightly (this will steam the chiles and release their skins, making them easier to peel).  Set the chiles aside.

Prepare the vegetables for serving.  Cut the corn off the cob, place in a large bowl.  Cut the zucchini and eggplant into irregular 1" pieces.  Either place in the same bowl with the corn (or in our case, in a separate bowl).  Trim any tough tops from the okra and cut the okra in half lengthwise and add to the other vegetables.  Set aside.

If using the chiles, scrape off the charred skin and discard.  Puree in a food processor.   Add the sugar and process until dissolved.  Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice (if not using the chiles, just combine the sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice).

To serve, scoop rice then top with the vegetables, followed by the fish sauce dressing and fresh herbs.

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