Baked Panko Rockfish with Gingery Cabbage
For the cabbage
16 leaves napa cabbage
2 small carrots, cut for slaw
2 green onions
½ teaspoon salt
½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon sugar
For the fish
1-½ lb. rockfish or cod fillets
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
½ cup all-purpose flour
2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Cut up the cabbage leaves, slicing the thick bottom portions into 1/2-inch ribbons and chopping the leafy tops into bite-size pieces. Peel the carrots and cut into matchsticks. Thinly slice the green onions, including the dark-green tops. Place the cabbage, carrots and green onions in a colander in the sink. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and massage the salt into the vegetables. Let sit 30 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, prep the fish. Preheat the oven to 450°F and put a large oven-safe skillet on the middle rack while the oven heats. Cut the fillets into serving-size pieces. Using a spoon or brush, rub or brush a small amount of soy sauce over both sides of each piece. Set aside in the refrigerator.
3. Grate the ginger into the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the vinegar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar and whisk together. Set aside.
4. Lay out 3 plates or shallow bowls for the flour, egg and panko. Season the panko with a big pinch of salt. One at a time, dredge the fish pieces in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip them in the egg, and coat with the panko crumbs. Pull the pan from the oven and coat the bottom with 2 tablespoon of oil. Arrange the fish pieces in a single layer. (You may have to cook the fish in 2 batches, depending on the size of the pan.) Bake until just cooked through, flipping halfway through, about 4 minutes per side for thick pieces, 2 to 3 minutes for thinner ones.
5. While the fish is baking, lightly squeeze the excess moisture from the cabbage mixture and add it to the bowl of dressing. Toss the cabbage and dressing together and serve with the hot fish.
The longer the vegetables sit after being salted, the more deeply seasoned they will become, so it is worth giving them the extra time if you have it.
Rockfish may also be labeled as rock cod, Pacific snapper, red snapper or Pacific Ocean perch. As long as it is not trawl-caught, it is a sustainable seafood choice.
Source: Inspired by Chez Panisse (4 servings)