Ideas for sauces for fish

75
10
Joined Jun 3, 2015
Hi chefs! I'm participating in a competition in September and I'd like some ideas for sauces for seabass/ snapper. Any ideas are highly appreciated thanks!
 
1,832
538
Joined Aug 15, 2003
There are hundreds of sauces for fish. How about more detail of your dish you are planning so that we have a chance to narrow down flavor profiles, garnishes, cooking method,  etc. You'd probably get more responses that way too. 

For example, I'd recommend different sauces for a fried snapper than a steamed snapper. 

More info is better. 
 
75
10
Joined Jun 3, 2015
So what I have in mind is a fusion between western and Chinese food. I'm thinking roasted seabass with prawn siu mai and garlic foam on top and a jet black purée. And maybe some baby vegetables such as carrot or baby zucchini for some contrast in color. I also have saffron tuille in mind but I think it's too much components in a plate.
Regarding the sauce, an idea a chef gave me was crustacean emulsion.
Any thought?
 
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931
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Sounds good, but I agree that the tuille is probably one too many items. What would the jet black puree be, and is it more of a component, a sauce, or a drizzle? Baby zucchini and carrots sound good for veg, but if you go with a crustacean emulsion (which sounds great), you might lose some color contrast between the carrots and the emulsion. Also as much as I love zucchini, it doesn't pack much in the way of a flavor punch or texturally. Another option to consider could be gai lan and shinrimei or kohlrabi.
 
1,832
538
Joined Aug 15, 2003
OK, that is a much more clear post, thanks. 

Jet black puree? Black garlic? Squid ink? 

A crustacean emulsion could be really good...what would you use as a base for the sauce? I assume prawn stock? You could infuse the prawn stock with some nice aromatics like ginger, star anise, lemongrass, etc...

Look into something called XO sauce. It is a Chinese condiment made up of, depending on recipe, things like ham/sausage, dried seafood (oysters, shirmp, scallops), and chilis. It can be a base for a wonderful variety of asian/Chinese inspired sauces...it makes a great glaze, a "bbq" style sauce, etc. Really versatile, beguiling and often unexpected. You could infuse some XO sauce into some shellfish stock for a nice broth, for example. 

Bok choy or baby bok choy is a great vegetable to use, it is Asian and also would be colorful. Enoki or shitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, scallions might all work too. 

A shaved and fried lotus root chip (or crisp lol) might be a nice garnish instead of a saffron tuile.

If you expand beyond just China you could look into Thai and Vietnamese cooking, things like curry emulsions, coconut milk, etc. would all be great with snapper. 

Sounds like you want to do sort of a Chinese bouillaibase kind of thing...might work better with Thai flavors. Just a thought. 
 
75
10
Joined Jun 3, 2015
Sounds good, but I agree that the tuille is probably one too many items. What would the jet black puree be, and is it more of a component, a sauce, or a drizzle?
The purée would be beluga lentils and squid ink. I'm leaning towards as a component.
I thought of the tuille because I think having a crispy texture would help shine the dish
 
75
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Joined Jun 3, 2015
The purée would be made with beluga lentils and squid ink. The lotus chip/crisp is a really good idea thanks!
 
75
10
Joined Jun 3, 2015
OK, that is a much more clear post, thanks

A crustacean emulsion could be really good...what would you use as a base for the sauce? I assume prawn stock? You could infuse the prawn stock with some nice aromatics like ginger, star anise, lemongrass, etc...
Perhaps I can infuse the aromatics by marinating it instead, what do you think? Of coIt's if I overdo it it will mask off the fish taste so that'll be put into consideration
 
1,832
538
Joined Aug 15, 2003
I personally think that fish (especially snapper or seabass) is too delicate for marination. Some more robust fish might work...think tuna, swordfish, etc. But delicate fish? Naw, not for me. I think you're better off infusing flavor into the sauce and garnish. 

You could work on some sort of baste, rub or glaze that might work for the fish though. A little Thai basil/ginger/lemongrass/coriander paste or something you brush on after it cooks...something like that might work. 

A good way to infuse flavor into fish is a quick cure. You could blend a mix of salt/sugar (75/25%, or even 50/50) with some aromatics...lemongrass, ginger, coriander, black pepper, etc and rub that on the fish. Leave on for about 20 mins then rinse off and pat dry. Curing fish does a lot of good..firms up flesh, releases the ugly "albumin" proteins (white) that come out of fish when you cook it, and seasons/flavors the fish. Remember this is a quick, heavy cure...so it is different than a cure you would do for, say, gravlax or smoked fish or something like that. 
 
75
10
Joined Jun 3, 2015
I personally think that fish (especially snapper or seabass) is too delicate for marination. Some more robust fish might work...think tuna, swordfish, etc. But delicate fish? Naw, not for me. I think you're better off infusing flavor into the sauce and garnish. 

You could work on some sort of baste, rub or glaze that might work for the fish though. A little Thai basil/ginger/lemongrass/coriander paste or something you brush on after it cooks...something like that might work. 

A good way to infuse flavor into fish is a quick cure. You could blend a mix of salt/sugar (75/25%, or even 50/50) with some aromatics...lemongrass, ginger, coriander, black pepper, etc and rub that on the fish. Leave on for about 20 mins then rinse off and pat dry. Curing fish does a lot of good..firms up flesh, releases the ugly "albumin" proteins (white) that come out of fish when you cook it, and seasons/flavors the fish. Remember this is a quick, heavy cure...so it is different than a cure you would do for, say, gravlax or smoked fish or something like that. 
Hmm that makes sense. I'll try both cured and not cured to see which works best. I think I'll stick to just salt and pepper. I'm worried the flavors might get "confusing" if you know what I mean.
 
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