One of the vendors at our farmers’ market—which happily began this week—carries the sustainably farmed fish from across the river. (I wrote about it here). It’s a far cry from living near the ocean, but it works well in a pinch and is always super-fresh. And whole fish are inspiring in ways that cuts usually are not, especially when it comes to grand presentations. Don’t you just love that fried eye?
Scattered around the floured and fried sea bream are some new potato coins that I fried in the wok before adding the fish, as well as beautiful Tokyo turnips that I cooked after the fish and with the now-customary sauce of vinegar, soy, hot sauce and fish sauce thickened with a bit of cornstarch. I threw the turnip greens in last to mop up all the remaining goodness and put a nice char on them. They’re in another bowl that didn’t make it into the picture.
The green glory in the bowl is a turnip green-duck egg-yuzu aïoli, which did not suck, and which helped to lend a nice fish and chips vibe to this platter of summer splendor, even though May isn’t even over yet. The best part about making mayo is that there’s always some left over; I dunked leftover turnips in it for breakfast, and when I bake bread it will be there waiting. I may even use it to whip up a green goddess-style dressing for tonight’s inevitable salad because that bed is positively operatic in its ebullience right now and it’s way too hot to cook.