Chefs Lon Symesnma and and Jeff Stoneking found inspiration for their new red snapper dish from a few places: China, healthy dishes, and what was showing up on their produce truck.
"I feel like people see steamed fish on the menu and they don't think it sounds appetizing. It's almost like there is a stigma about ordering fish when you're out—people think it might be bland or too healthy. We wanted to change people's minds about that," explains Stoneking.
There is nothing bland about this dish. The snapper is filleted, cut into sashimi-size pieces, topped with chopped baby squash and then steamed for three minutes. Still hot from the steamer, fresh tomatoes and julienned ginger, scallions, and chilis are arranged on top of the fish.
These aromatics pop and sizzle as hot oil pours over them. This technique is an old Chinese one that releases flavor in seconds. The flavor spreads throughout the fish and veggies quickly as does the scent. The dish is finished with a sweet soy and ginger sauce that perfectly compliments the spices.
The tenderness of the fish is the right contrast to the pop of the tomatoes and the crunch of the squash. It comes served on top a fresh banana leaf with a wine pairing recommendation: a glass of the Les Varennes Du Clos Sancerre Grand Vin.
"You can develop a lot of amazing things without a lot of calories. Some of the healthiest dishes have the best flavors and that's what we're trying to highlight with the snapper," says Symensma. Find it at ChoLon throughout the summer.