You’ve probably noticed the Hungarian theme over the last few posts. That’s because this month’s Food of the World featured country is Hungary. There are so many delicious foods I had a difficult time choosing which one to feature and ended up making several. Today’s offering is a magnificent fish with a creamy ginger sauce called gyömbéres hal.
During my research I came across several variations. Some had more sauce than others, some had an Asian flair with the addition of soy sauce. In the end I stuck with this recipe for the most part, even though he forgot to mention the cream and uses an extraordinary amount of nutmeg. It was the one that originally caught my eye.
Use any type of mild salt or freshwater fish you like. We used perch. The fishmonger cut the fish into fillets and we cut them into smaller chunks at home.
- 1 pound fish, cut into portions
- 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- pinch red pepper flake (optional if using hot pepper)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 - 2 tablespoons grated ginger (substitute a teaspoon of powdered ginger add more if needed)
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 red chili or other hot pepper, chopped (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup cream
- Sprinkle the fish on both sides with salt and pepper, set aside.
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flake if using.
- Stir in the ginger and season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the flour around and stir until it begins to change color. Add the cream and nutmeg and stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Push the veggies to the side of the pan and nestle the fish into the sauce.
- Arrange the vegetables on top of the fish. Move the vegetables to turn the fish as needed.
- The fish is finished when the color is opaque and it flakes easily. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Transfer the fish to a serving dish and garnish with parsley and red chili, if using.
Normally I’ll have my fish either baked, broiled or pan fried. My favorite is “a la plancha” where the fish is split and cooked on a flat top. It’s rare that a sauce is involved, except maybe a little butter or oil. I loved the flavors of this dish, although I got carried away with the red chili and ended up putting it to the side. It reminds me more of a stew and if you were to double the ginger cream sauce it would be great over noodles or rice.
Like the other Hungarian dishes I made (creamed peas and scalloped potatoes) the addition of the cream makes it a rich dish…I don’t recommend serving them at the same meal(!). I served my fish with ginger cream sauce accompanied by rice and broccoli rabe and squeezed some lemon over the plate. It was fabulous, as were the leftovers I had for lunch the next day.
Make sure to drop by the Food of the World link party to see the other dishes created by some of your favorite food bloggers.