National Burger Month 05/07/2010: Halibut and Fried Ginger

I lied... I'm not going back to beef just yet. Just one more non-beef burger. And then I can go all meaty.

I was browsing the FoodBuzz today and ran into this recipe for steamed halibut with fried ginger from the blog My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good. Thank you, MyBFLikesIt! It reminded me of a dish my mom used to make for me and I realized I wanted to adapt it burger-style. I guess that's why I asked around on Facebook if a burger needed to be fried or grilled to be called a burger. The consensus was that yes, it wouldn't be a burger unless it were fried or grilled, though some intrepid souls suggested braising might be good. In the end, this discussion was moot because while I did steam the fish, I finished it on the pan. Was I sliding down the slippery slope to fish cake? Who knows? Anyway, I enjoyed this one.

For the buns, I turned back to an older burger I did a couple of years ago. I made onigiri-yaki "buns" (recipe here). Onigiri-yaki are for all intents and purposes roasted rice balls and are fairly bun-like.  I think for many of my Asian inspired burgers I'm going to go this way. And before you say "Hold on homeslice, that's not a burger bun!" I will point out that there is precedent for this. There's the SPAM Rice Burger from a place called Freshness Burger (which is definitely not a burger-- it's a slab of SPAM!)  and there's also the MOS Rice Burger which uses a bun made of rice and millet. It figures these places are both Japanese fast food chains. I tried a MOS Rice Burger when I was in Singapore and I really liked it.

Back to the fishy business.

For two halibut burgers:
1 pound of fresh halibut filet, diced and divided in two (I felt almost bad for dicing really beautiful halibut; I wanted to pull out my charcoal grill and just throw the filets on it.)
2 scallions sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
2 tbsp ginger sliced into thin half inch strips
2 teaspoons sesame oil
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tbsp canola oil

1. Prepare your steamer
2, On a small plate or saucer, toss some scallions, 1/4 of the ginger, and 1/2 of the garlic. Form the chopped halibut into patties.and lay one over the scallions, ginger and garlic. Drizzle the fish with 1/2 tsp mirin and 1/2 tsp soy sauce. Drizzle 1/2 tsp of sesame oil on the halibut. Finally, sprinkle a pinch of sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Do the same for the other mound of fish chunks.
3. Place the plates into the steamer and steam for about 7 minutes-- don't over steam it because you'll finish these in the frying pan.
4. While the fish is steaming, turn your attention to a hot pan and heat up the canola oil and the rest of the sesame oil. Toss the remaining ginger into the pan and fry until it browns, about 5-10 minutes. Just in time for the fish to be done.
5. Carefully scoop the now steamed fish from the steamer and lay it onto the frying ginger. After about 30-45 seconds, or just enough time to brown a little, flip the burgers over and brown the other side. Do the same for the other burger.

Serve over prepared onigiri-yaki.

That should really fulfill the non-beef quota for the week, Tomorrow, real meat.