We continued our Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve dinner tradition this year with a bit of a twist. We have been making a lot of Vietnamese and Thai food recently, and decided to use flavors from that part of the world as the inspiration for this year's feast.
Without further ado, here are the seven dishes:
Oysters with Vietnamese Ginger-Chili Mignonette
The Barron Point oysters had a nice sweet and salty flavor and a ton of liquor. A small dash of the ginger-chili sauce added a nice kick.
Cured Salmon Four Ways
Probably the most successful dish of the evening. A thick piece of salmon was cured 48 hours using our standard cold-smoke dry cure (kosher salt, brown sugar, white sugar, white pepper, clove, allspice, mace and a touch of pink salt). We served four slices seasoned in four separate ways: fresh lemon - zest and juice; shallot, parsley and lime; fresh lime - zest and juice; ginger-chili and fish sauce. All four tasted very different from each other, and all four were great.
Thai Steamed Mussels
A simple dish of steamed black mussels with coconut milk and green curry.
Vietnamese Salad with Smoked Trout and Bitter Greens
Slices of "house-smoked" trout over a salad of watercress, Belgian endive, and quick-pickled carrot, daikon, cucumber and shallot. Both the trout and the salad were really good, although they weren't a perfect match for each other.
The next three dishes we served together family-style, along with steamed rice and sautéed mustard greens.
Not much to look at, but very tasty. The ginger flavor was very intense, and the fish (rock cod) had nice texture.
Squid in Caramel Sauce
We have done a number of caramel sauce dishes with other ingredients, and thought that the flavors would go well with squid. They absolutely did, although the squid let off a fair bit of liquid during cooking, resulting in a more loose sauce than we were looking for.
Napa Cabbage Soup with Shrimp Dumplings
A very pleasantly savory, but fairly mild tasting soup. It made a perfect accompaniment to the other, more strongly flavored dishes.
All in all, a very fun meal! We would happily make any of these dishes again - maybe with the odd tweak or two.
If you enjoyed these dishes, check out our seven fish dinner from last Christmas Eve.