Thursday, April 30, 2009

Steelhead Trout and Enoki Mushrooms with Wasabi Cream Sauce

It's been some time since we've submitted an entry to the Royal Food Joust. It's just been crazy over here that we have not had the luxury of time to enjoy the whole process of conceptualizing to actualizing a dish.

It's strange, but not doing the Joust so long, I feel like we're entering it for the first time again. Oh well, I suppose we just have to get back on this horse again. No time like the present, when there are no set ingredients, just colours.

Red, white, and green certainly open up a whole world of possibilities.

We thought of going Italian or Mexican, since those are the flag colours of both countries. Tomatoes would easily be the red, some herbs (parsley or cilantro) would be green, and perhaps cannellini beans or flour tortillas could be the white.

After all the heeing and hawing, we've somehow meandered to our neck of the woods and stayed close to home, here to present a dish that seems very Vancouver in approach. We've also decided to keep it simple lest we strain our very stiff Joust muscles.

No doubt the entries for this joust would be quite the party, with bright colors popping out of the screen. Our red, white and green dish has a more muted palette.

Red Steelhead Trout

For our red component, we choose steelhead trout.

I cut each fillet into 4 pieces. We were actually preparing this dish for a dinner party and hence, had a whole tray full of trout pieces.

whackload of trout

They were simply pan-fried with the skin on until done.

cooking on the 2nd side

White Enoki Mushrooms

I've always loved enoki mushrooms, but I've almost always had them in soups (hotpot comes to mind).

For our dish, we simply sautéed them in butter. I tried to keep the enoki "bunches" intact for the dish and tried not to color them too much.

They were quite fantastic already, just with the butter.

Green Wasabi Cream Sauce, Green Nori

That above is a sheet of nori (seaweed), which is quite misleading as it merely acted as a garnish to the dish. The real green component to our red, white and green dish is wasabi.

Going through our spice cupboard, JS saw this old can of powdered wasabi. We have never used this before, so we wanted to try it for this dish.

For our cream sauce, we started with a roux (butter and flour), whisked in some cream, then added grated ginger and the wasabi.

The sauce was the palest, palest green. OK, it was white with a faint hint of green. ;)

I was tempted to add some macha (Japanese green tea) to color it, and I thought the macha would be a nice additional flavor in keeping with the Japanese inspiration.

However, in the end, I finally decided to keep our Red, White and Green components as simple as possible, each element showcasing one dominant flavor.

This was a very simple dish and quite perfect for having some friends over and relaxing. I don't think this would win the Joust this month, with all the other great, colourful entries on the list, but I do think it was great practice, to get back into the groove.

Overall, the flavours were clean, with each element complementing each other perfectly. The fish was rich, the sauce was creamy, the mushrooms were buttery. The wasabi and the ginger cut through the richness nicely and the nori had a pleasant crinkliness and "greenness" of flavour that also went very well with the other flavours.

[eatingclub] Japanese
Dashi, Three Types
Potatoes Simmered in Miso (Jaga-imo Miso-ni)
Simmered Saba Mackerel with Daikon Radish (Saba Oroshi-ni)
Miso Soup
Steelhead Trout and Enoki Mushrooms with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Grilled Brats à la Japadog
Warm Wakame Cucumber Salad
Grilled Eggplant with Sweet Miso


Steelhead Trout and Enoki Mushrooms with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Serves 4 (part of a multi-course meal)

1 filet steelhead trout (approximately 1-2 pounds)
oil for pan-frying

4 "bunches" enoki mushrooms (total about 400g)
butter and oil for sauteeing

4 teaspoons wasabi powder (up to 2 tablespoons, or to taste)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 cup cream (or more, to adjust consistency)

roasted nori (seaweed), optional

Wasabi Cream Sauce
In a small bowl, mix together wasabi powder with a little water until it forms a paste.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium/medium-low heat. When melted, add flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add cream and whisk the mixture, adding the grated ginger and wasabi. Continue whisking until the sauce is smooth and the raw flour taste is gone. Season with salt. You may want to add more cream depending on your desired consistency. Keep warm over low heat or over a pot of simmering water.

Enoki Mushrooms
Make sure not to sever the enoki mushrooms, so that they stay in "bunch" form.

In a sauté pan, melt oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the enoki and cook until softened, turning once. You may need to lower the heat so that the enoki don't color too much. Season and set aside.

Cut the filet into 4 equal-weight portions. Pat each piece dry.

Wipe out the sauté pan used for the enoki. In the same pan, heat oil over medium until lightly smoking. Season each side of the trout pieces with salt and place the pieces on the pan, skin side down. Fry until golden brown and until the fish is cooked halfway up. Flip the trout pieces and continue cooking until done.

To serve
Serve the pan-fried trout with the enoki mushrooms and wasabi cream sauce. Add nori to garnish, if desired.

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This is our entry to the Royal Food Joust (created by The Leftover Queen).

[eatingclub] vancouver Royal Food Joust posts:
Dimsum Seafood Trio: Black Pearl Toast, Scallop in Nest, Jewelled Rice Cup
Cream of Fennel Soup with Parsey Oil
Ginger-Guava Jam
Lime-Marinated Pork Skewers with Ginger-Guava Jam and Five-Grain Rice
Soy Pudding Parfait with Orange-Ginger Syrup and "Streusel" Brittle
Squash Churros with Orange-Sage Hot Chocolate
Coffee Pancakes with Honey Ricotta and Black Pepper & Coffee-Crusted Bacon
Caribbean "Fish & (Banana) Chips"
Steelhead Trout and Enoki Mushrooms with Wasabi Cream Sauce


  1. Oh, I so agree. Trout is awesome. I got to taste my first one when I was in California-- shame we don't get it here in Manila!

  2. Wonderful job!! This looks delicious and the combo of flavors/ingredients is great!

  3. This looks great, and the wasabi cream sounds fantastic!

  4. Creative combination of ingredients!
    Good luck with the joust!

  5. I love, love, love steelhead. Better than salmon, and arctic char. I love enoki, too, and this whole concept is so refined.... Mmmmmmm, yum!

  6. Dragon:
    They were so good simply sauteed with butter. If we didn't have guests coming over, I would've stopped right there!

    Haha... we call this trout our "poor man's salmon". =D


    The wasabi added a much needed punchy component to the rich, subtle flavors.

    Lori Lynn:
    Thank you!

    Thanks. That was an inspired choice, choosing colors as the "ingredients" for the month's Joust!

    Thank you! =)

  7. I made the wasabi cream sauce tonight to go with my trout and deep fried renkon - delicious! Thanks. ^_^


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