Monday, June 25, 2007

Halibut Wrapped in Napa Cabbage

Eating things that are stuffed or wrapped is like opening a present -- it's fun! Friday's lunch was one of those sinful pleasures you get when making a present to yourself. I had a little piece of halibut left over from the previous dinner and a ton of napa (also known as Chinese) cabbage from our CSA. My favorite thing to make with napa cabbage is a salad, but this one was a little prickly. I am not kidding -- it actually had tiny little thorns that made eating it raw somewhat uncomfortable. My knee jerk reaction when faced with bok choi or napa is to stir-fry, but I was looking for something a little more interesting and decided to try a stuffing experiment. I blanched the cabbage leaves for a minute to make them more flexible, then sprinkled halibut with salt, pepper, and minced ginger, and wrapped it up in the cabbage leaves. Then I seared my little bundles in a little canola oil and finished them with some soy sauce and sesame seed oil.

They turned out not only terribly cute, but also yummy!

Halibut Wrapped in Napa Cabbage

Fish substitutions: can work with any fin fish, but if using salmon or tuna, make sure to cook no longer than 3 minutes total because these fish taste best rare.

Serves 4

8 large napa cabbage leaves
8 pieces of halibut fillet, 3 oz each
1 Tbsp finely minced ginger
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp sesame seed oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper
  1. If the cabbage has very thick middle stems, thin them out with a small sharp knife being careful not to make holes in the leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves and cook for 1 minute. Remove to a paper towel and dry off well on both sides.
  2. Sprinkle halibut with salt and pepper. Place a piece of halibut onto the stem part of each cabbage leaf. Sprinkle with ginger and wrap the halibut in the leaves.
  3. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add canola oil and swirl the pan to coat its bottom. Place the cabbage bundles into the skillet without crowding and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip, cover the skillet, turn down the heat to medium-low, and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Drizzle with sesame seed oil and soy sauce, flip the cabbage bundles, cover, and cook 1 minute or until done. Testing for doneness is a little tricky. I suggest you make a little slit in the cabbage and push a chop stick through the fish. If the chopstick goes through without much effort, the fish is done. If you have an instant read thermometer, you can use it to check the internal temperature of the fish. Take it off the heat at 125F. It will get to 135F after 5 minutes of resting which is the "done" temperature for fish.


Toni said...

What a nifty idea and the results looked delish. I wonder if you could do them on the grill.

Helen said...

Hi Toni,

I never thought of grilling stuffed cabbage. What a great idea! Let me know if you try it.


Christine said...

Just found this recipe the other day and made it immediately with some halibut I happened to have awaiting inspiration. Turned out great!

ALB said...

Has anyone tried broiling it instead of frying?