Char with Asian Style Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Oven baked whole trout or char is one of my favorite dinners. It is simple, fast, delicious and infinitely versatile. Usually, the fish can bought already cleaned and it doesn’t have to filleted. It can be stuffed and flavored with almost any kind of herb, spices or citrus fruits. Also the vegetables can be adjusted according to what you have at home and what vegetables are currently in season. For example, during autumn I prefer to use various mushrooms or fennel and apples. In winter, broccoli with white wine and garlic is great, and also this current combination of butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.

Char with Asian Style Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

The rule of thumb for baking fish is simple. Starting with fish that was previously removed from the refrigerator and has room temperature before baking, the fish needs about 1/16 minutes per gram at 200°C / 390 F. That means you take the weight of the fish in grams and quarter it once, and quarter it twice. A 400g char takes about 25 minutes, a 500g trout needs 30 minutes. The skin is not going to be crisp, but the fish meat will be moist and tender, just perfect.

Char with Asian Style Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Depending on the vegetable used, it might need previous blanching or some time separately in the oven. In this dish, precooking depends on the size of the Brussels sprouts and the squash cubes. I also experienced different cooking times for different squash, so to make sure that the squash will be soft at the same time when the fish gets tender, bake the vegetables separately for about 10 minutes. I flavored the squash and the sprouts with a kind of Asian / Chinese mixture consisting of a lot of fresh ginger, chili pepper, garlic, soy sauce and roasted sesame oil. I created this flavoring based on inspirations from my recent trip to Beijing. It worked well both with the squash and with the Brussels sprouts, while the latter was no surprise since the Chinese use a lot of cabbage with similar flavorings.

Char with Asian Style Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2-3 portions

Char with Asian Style Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 char or trout (about 400 g)
  • 350 g butternut squash
  • 8 small Brussels sprouts
  • 30 g fresh ginger
  • 1 thai chili
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp rice vinegar
  • pinch brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp fresh coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

For the vegetables
Wash the Brussels sprouts and discard the outer hard leaves. Cut the sprouts in 4 to 8 pieces depending on their size. Dice the cleaned butternut squash into 1cm cubes. Finely chop the thai chili, the peeled ginger and the garlic clove. Put everything in a large bowl, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, a pinch of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix the ingredients well and set aside for half an hour.
For the fish
Place a large enough dish into the oven and preheat to 200°C / 390 F. The fish should have room temperature when you start with the preparation.
Wash the fish in cold water and tap dry with kitchen paper. Crush the coriander seeds, black peppercorns and sea salt in a mortar and rub the fish both in- and outside with it.
Remove the hot dish from the oven and add the vegetables to it. Depending on the freshness and type of squash used you'll need to bake the vegetables for 10 minutes. Afterwards add the fish on top of the vegetables and bake for 25 minutes.
To serve
Divide the vegetables between 2-3 warm plates. Remove the skin of the fish and using a spoon scrape of the meat from the bones. Add the fish meat on top of the vegetables.
http://mybites.de/2011/11/char-asian-style-squash-brussels-sprouts/