Striped Bass with Snow Peas and ****akes - John Lassandro

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8 ounces striped bass
4 ounces rice noodles
1 1/2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. Asian sesame oil
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 cups snow peas, cut into thirds
1 cup diced fresh ****ake mushrooms
2 Tbsp. rice wine
2 Tbsp. Thai fish sauce (nampla)
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Bring 3 qts. water to a boil in a large pot. Place a colander or strainer over the top, place the fish inside, cover, and steam for 8-10 minutes, until the fish is firm and white. Remove the colander, let the fish cool, and flake into small pieces, discarding the bones. Set aside.

Lower the rice noodles into the boiling water boil for 3 minutes and transfer to a colander. Run hot water over the noodles and toss with 1 Tbsp. of the canola oil to keep from sticking together. Set aside. (the very thin variety of noodles require only a warm soaking for 20 minutes instead.)

Heat the sesame oil and the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil in a wok over high heat. Add the sesame seeds & toast for about 1 minute. Add the snow peas and ****akes. Toss with the sesame mixture. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the rice wine, fish sauce, and pepper. Stir and sauté about 2 minutes. Add the fish pieces and noodles and toss together for about 1 minute, making sure the noodles and vegetables combine thoroughly.

Transfer to warm plates and squeeze fresh lemon juice over each serving. Serve with additional lemon wedges. Serves 4.

When you get your fresh fillets home, you need to rinse them with fresh cool water and bag them into whatever sized portions you choose.

One of the best ways that we have found to freeze striper fillets is to put them into zip-lock freezer bags or plastic containers, cover them with water, and add a few drops of lemon juice for freshness. When this freezes, the ice will protect the fillets against freezer-burn for up to several months.

Before cooking your striper fillets, be sure to remove most of the "red meat", (the red stripe down the center of each fillet). This is easily done using a large sharp knife and making a long angled slice down the length of the fillet. Fillets that have been well chilled or frozen and thawed are the easiest to work with. Usually this will split the fillet down the middle into nice sized serving pieces.
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