As the mainland begins to embrace the start of spring, we are still enjoying cooler days than normal in Hawaii, with a touch of snow still sitting at the top of Mauna Kea and soft trade winds keeping the need for air conditioning away. It is the best time of year in Hawaii, with tropical breezes lending to the desire for tropical flavors. This tasty dish will transport you to an island paradise, especially with a side of grilled pineapple or tropical salsa. We love the furikake seasoning with green seaweed, white sesame seeds, and rice wine vinegar, but there is a wide range including options with bonito flakes, black sesame, etc.
Furikake Fresh Catch with Coconut Rice
Ingredients for four:
For the fish:
Four 6-8 ounce pieces of fresh flaky white fish, we have used Mahi Mahi and Ling Cod recently for this dish, but you could use halibut, ono, sea bass, tilapia, etc.
1 tablespoon wasabi paste
3 tablespoons lemon aioli or mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Ponzu
1 teaspoon soy sauce
black pepper and salt
Furikake seasoning (found in Japanese markets, Central Market, Trader Joes, etc. on the mainland, or via Amazon)
Zest of 1/2 lemon + the lemon to squeeze at the end before serving
For the rice:
1 1/2 cups long-grain or jasmine rice
2 1/2 cups coconut milk (either full fat or lite, either will work, but the richness that comes through with the full-fat milk is incredible)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
2 tablespoon chopped fresh green onions, for garnish
Additional furikake for garnish
Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
For the rice: The rice will take a bit longer to cook than the fish, so begin by adding the coconut milk, seasonings, spices, garlic, broth, and rice to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and place a lid over the rice until the rice comes to a boil (keep an eye on it so your pot doesn’t overflow), then reduce the heat to a low simmer, stir again, and allow to cook through with the lid on the pot.
For the fish: Stir together the aioli, wasabi, garlic, lemon zest, soy, and Ponzu, and set aside. (If you don’t like spicy, you can always leave the wasabi out, which we have also done a few times and the fish is always incredible and rich.) Make sure your fish doesn’t have any bones in it, and pat very dry with a paper towel. Season the fish with salt and pepper. then with a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, liberally brush each piece of fish with the aioli mixture, then top with furikake. Place each piece of fish on a baking dish. Place in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, depending on your oven, until the fish just flakes. Remove from the oven and cover with foil if you aren’t going to enjoy it immediately. Just before serving fluff the rice with a fork. To serve spoon a heaping portion of rice onto a plate, top with cilantro, green onions, and an extra sprinkle of furikake. Gently place the fish over the rice, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and serve with tropical salsa. Enjoy!