fast food

Sea bass with a ginger, chilli, garlic sauce

A couple of things, seemingly random ... firstly, I didn't really used to use ginger a lot, I found it too strong and it wasn't a favourite flavour.

Rachel Redlaw ginger garlic chilli sea bass

And then, I started grating it on the smallest grating size of the grater and now I LOVE it! 

Secondly, I've been thinking about how I tend to add all the sauce/flavour ingredients in with fish or meat as I stir-fry and cook, and decided to do tonight's sea bass in two stages.

So I cooked the fish in a non-stick pan with a few sprays of my spray cooking oil, skin-side down for I think it was four minutes to get lovely and crisp, and then turned and cooked for another minute.

Rachel Redlaw sea bass with a ginger, chilli, garlic sauce
Rachel Redlaw sea bass with a ginger, chilli, garlic sauce

Remove the fish from the pan and then put the pan back over a medium heat with a few more sprays of cooking oil, plus some grated ginger, finely chopped garlic and birds eye chilli (amounts of each to your taste - I had one garlic clove, one chilli and a heaped teaspoon kind of sized amount of grated ginger).

Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then add a splash of water, a slosh of light soy sauce, another of fish sauce and a pinch of sugar - and i added a sliced spring onion too.  Cook for a minute or so more adding a little more water if you want more of a sauce, and then pour over the fish.

Rachel Redlaw sea bass with a ginger, chilli, garlic sauce
Rachel Redlaw sea bass with a ginger, chilli, garlic sauce
Rachel Redlaw ginger garlic chilli sea bass

You could have with rice, noodles, potatoes, whatever you like, but tonight I served this very simply with some steamed green vegetables, a wedge of fresh lime and toasted some flaked almonds quickly in a dry pan to sprinkle on top.

I really love it when something so simple tastes so good! 


'Weeping tiger' steak

The ONLY hard part about this lovely easy dish is finding fresh green peppercorns - I get them from my local Thai supermarket but I haven't seen them in the usual supermarkets.

This is a shame and a reason I haven't posted this recipe before because I really try to ensure you don't need any specialist ingredients to make my recipes.

This one, I'm afraid you do ... HOWEVER, they do seem to be pretty much readily available to buy online (at least here in the UK).

Although, to be honest, if you can't get them - then just make it without them! Yes it's going to have a bit of a different flavour, but I've made it a few times and it's still a good dish in its own right.

I made this just with one steak, for myself, for lunch.

I've made it before though using an incredible piece of beef fillet for a friend's party - with pro-rata'd up marinade of course.

Don't worry too much about the exact quantities of ingredients - to be honest it all tastes good!

But what I did today, for my lunch was to take (in addition to a steak - your choice of cut and size):

1 clove garlic, squashed with the flat of a knife

Some of the stalks chopped off near the bottom of a bunch of coriander, plus a few coriander leaves (plus another handful to garnish before serving)

A couple of sprigs - maybe 2 teaspoons-worth - of fresh green peppercorns

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Oh, and I made a sauce to spoon over the cooked steak too and THAT was simply made with:

The juice of one lime

1 teaspoon sugar (or 1/2 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce)

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

So first, put the garlic clove plus the chopped coriander stalks and a few leaves into a mortar and pound to a sort of paste/gloop with the pestle.

Stir in the peppercorns, fish sauce and soy sauce and then keep stirring in the sugar so it dissolves.

Rub the mixture over the steak and leave to marinade for half an hour or so.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak

Make the sauce by combining the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and chilli flakes and stir to dissolve the sugar. If I'd had some sweet chilli sauce (must make some!) I'd have added a teaspoon of that too but only used 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak

If you're going to have it with rice, make the rice now so it's ready to go.

I wanted a lighter lunch so just prepped some vegetables which I quickly stir-fried after the steak and cooked and while it was resting.

When the steak's finished marinating cook it to your liking on a grill or griddle then rest it for a few minutes. I scooped up all the green peppercorns that had fallen down into the dips in the griddle and added to the steak (of course!).

Slice and serve with rice or vegetables and spoon over some of the sauce.

Sprinkle some coriander leaves over it all to garnish.

Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak
Rachel Redlaw weeping tiger steak


Simplest seafood stir-fry with lime + chilli

Late Sunday morning.

Realise need to eat and that, having been up for several hours (well, from 7.30am and now it's 10.45am.

I really need brunch.

Time for my own personal take on Masterchef's 'invention test' (the one I'll be looking forward to most should I ever get on it).

I have: a rasher of smoked back bacon; a packet of cooked seafood mix (squid, prawns and mussels); some asparagus tips I picked up cheaply yesterday as they were put on offer as they became out of date. 

So ... time to rustle up the simplest seafood stir fry! 

It all goes together well - pork and seafood HEART each other big time. 

This is super-simple but it IS spicy and it IS very lime-y.

I actually think lemon might be nicer - and I rarely use lemon!

Cook your rice first so it's ready and then prepare the ingredients:

1 garlic clove, minced

a small piece of ginger, minced

1-2 bird eye chillies, squashed and chopped

1-2 spring onions, sliced

cooking oil, or Frylight spray oil 

1 bacon rasher, fat removed and chopped(I had smoked but whatever you have is good)

some mixed seafood (probably around a small bowlful or around 200g)

if you have them asparagus tips are good, but you could use another vegetable

1 lime

fish sauce


oyster sauce

cooked rice and chopped coriander leaves (if liked) to serve

Rachel Redlaw seafood stirfry
Rachel Redlaw chilli lime seafood stirfry

I use my Frylight 1-cal oil spray as I'm losing weight at the moment, but you can just use a tablespoon of cooking oil if you prefer- and if so, you probably don't need the splash of water, but see what you think and add it if you need to.

Put a frying pan over a medium heat and add 20 sprays of 1-cal spray oil and then put in the garlic, ginger, chillies and spring onions.

Stir for around 20 seconds until it smells good and then add the bacon and stir for another 20 seconds - add a splash of water now, or earlier if you think it needs it.

Cook for another 20 seconds or so and then add the asparagus tips (if using) and cook for a minute. Add another small splash of water if needed at any time.

Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime
Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime
Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime

Tip in the seafood, stir and squeeze in the juice of the lime. 

Add a splash of fish sauce and half a teaspoon of sugar then cook, stirring all the time, for a couple of minutes until the seafood is hot all the way through.

Add a little glug of oyster sauce and cook for up to another minute until it's all hot and good.

Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime
Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime

Turn off the heat, add the coriander (if using) and serve with rice. 

Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime