New Gulf Harvest: Black Tea Poached Grouper with Ponzu Shrimp over Spicy Chinese Black Rice

4 05 2010


I spent some time speaking with my local fishmonger about the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. He’s been in the fishmongering business for almost 40 years, so he’s in the know. I expected to hear anger and frustration. I expected to hear about how this would impact our bounty from the sea for the next odd years. His response was chilling, chilling because there was so little emotion. It reminded me of the times when a patient gives up; he or she is ready to die. There is simply nothing left inside-it is Dead Man Walking. He just looked at me and said, “No one knows. No one really has any idea. All we do know is this is going to be bad.”

He wrapped the last of my order and my normally conversant friend just had nothing else to say. All I could do was look at the display case, the fresh grouper and shrimp, and experience the vision darken to the color of black oil. I left the store, but the vision stayed with me. Black oil. Texas Tea.


What does any self-respecting chef do when confronted by a pile of lemons? Well, we trade them in for a pile of limes and make Margaritas. So if tea was in the vision than in the spirit of “in memorium” I would make a New Gulf Harvest. I would make this damnable vision at least tasty. So enjoy this, and as you do, do or at least think something positive to help  clean up of the ocean, the critters and our very bounty.

New Gulf Harvest:

Black Tea Poached Grouper with Ponzu Shrimp over Spicy Chinese Black Rice

  • 2 grouper fillets
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ~1/2 oz good quality oolong or other black tea
  • 3-4 cups vegetable or fish stock
  • 1 cup Chinese Black Rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  •  ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 roasted jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbs shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • ½ pound large fresh shrimp (U/12)
  • Marinade:
    • ¼ cup ponzu sauce (citrus flavored soy sauce)
    • 1 Tbs honey
    • 2 Tbs lemon juice
    • 1 Tbs lime juice
    • ¼ cup chopped onion
    • 3 Tbs chopped carrot
    • 3 Tbs chopped celery
    • 3 Tbs rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp tomato paste
    • 1 tsp chopped ginger
    • 1 tsp chopped garlic
    • 1 Tbs (or more if you want more heat) Sriracha sauce
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Bring the stock to a simmer in cooking vessel large enough to hold fillets. Make sure the stock temperature is between about 165-180 degrees F. Add the tea in a container (or cheesecloth) to steep. Allow the tea to steep and turn the stock dark. Add 2 fillets and poach at that temperature until cooked, about 5 minutes. Do not boil the fish.

For the rice: Cook 1 cup of Chinese Black rice according to the directions. When the rice is almost done, prepare the additions to the rice. In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and lightly cook the onion and shallot until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and roasted jalapeño. Cook 1 more minute, then add these ingredients to the rice.

Prepare the marinade by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and blending until the mixture is smooth. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade. Clean and devein the shrimp and cover in a bowl with the marinade. While the fish and rice are finishing, prepare the shrimp. Heat a pan (or cook on a grill) until hot over high heat. Add the shrimp. You may apply the marinade as the shrimp cook.

Place the fish over the rice and add the shrimp. Serve immediately garnished with chopped cilantro and flat leaf parsley.




4 responses

4 05 2010

I am not looking forward to the next several months – I wish I had room in my freezer to stock up on gulf shrimp – this dish looks great!

7 05 2010

Thanks DB! Agreed, it may be years of misery….

5 05 2010
Kevin Millis

Kawaiso… what a shame. Michael and I share the same teacher and he once stated to us that, “man is the worst thing that has ever happend to the planet”… and lo and behold, once again we have proven him correct. We will never be the same.

7 05 2010

Agreed Kev-san. You would think we would learn, but we don’t seem to even learn how to prepare for the eventualities.

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