I totally remember when 'fusion cuisine' was popular in Singapore for the shortest of moments, and then became a byword for excessive tampering and more-ingredients-than-sense cooking. What is 'fusion cuisine'? Pretty self-explanatory, really. Imagine mixing some kind of Western cooking with some kind of Asian cooking and you've got the basic idea. The problem is that some kinds of Western cooking DO NOT mesh well with some kinds of Asian cooking.
Although I'm certainly not one of the authenticity police when it comes to food, it does sometimes turn out that the tried-and-tested way is the best one. But by no means is this a pervasive argument. If instincts were never followed and new ideas realised, then we wouldn't have half the amazing food we eat today. The other day I had a craving for fish in Shaoxing wine (pretty specific, I know). So far, so Chinese. But then I realised we had a whole bunch of potatoes and carrots to finish. Anyway, what resulted was a very mild foray into the world of fusion cooking, I suppose.
I remembered a Harumi Kurihara recipe that dresses new potatoes in butter and soy sauce, so I did the same, but with carrots as well. I also have to admit that I added some sesame oil, because I bloody love the stuff. It is honestly liquid gold.
White fish in a Shaoxing Wine Sauce
2 big fillets of fish (I used haddock, but any white fish would definitely do. Indeed, I suppose salmon might work here as well)
8-10 shiitake mushrooms, either fresh or rehydrated in hot water for 30 mins if dried
Bunch of spring onions, sliced
Bunch of basil, chopped
Half cup Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon black Chinkiang vinegar (or rice vinegar)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
Pinch of salt
Pinch of Chinese five spice
Pince of Sichuan pepper
Pinch of white pepper
Mix all the ingredients and leave the fish to marinate in a shallow dish for around half an hour.
Chop half the mushrooms finely and slice the rest of them, then fry them in some oil until just softened.
Wipe the pan clean and add 2 tablespoons cooking oil.
Fry the fish fillets for 2-3 minutes on each side.
After turning them over in the pan, add the used marinade, spring onions and the mushrooms.
Cook for 2 minutes, letting the liquid reduce.
Mix chopped basil in at the end.
Serve with boiled new potatoes and carrots dressed in soy sauce, butter and olive oil.