This glaze is sweet, savory and faintly herbal from the ouzo.Don't be scared by the use of Asian fish sauce -- it's a lot like the fish sauce the ancient Romans used, which was the precursor to Worcestershire sauce.
If you don't have white sea bass, use large shrimp or another firm fish such as halibut, sturgeon, shark, marlin, tilefish or -- if you can find it -- Chilean seabass from New Zealand or Pacific swordfish.
- 1-2 pounds fish (steaks cut)
- Garnish: salt (Kosher)
- 1 cup flour (for dusting)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce (Asian, or 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (added separately from other oil)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons ouzo (or other anise-flavored liqueur)
- 1 tablespoons oregano (chopped, fresh)
- Garnish: black pepper (freshly ground)
- Slice the fish steak into large cubes of about 1 1/2 inches across. Sprinkle kosher salt on them.
- Mix the 2 tablespoons olive oil, the honey and the fish sauce together by whisking vigorously for a minute or so.
- Mix the garlic powder in with the flour.
- Heat a large frying pan over high heat for a minute or two. Add most -- but not all -- of the 1/4 cup of oil. Start with a little more than half. Turn the heat down to medium-high and let this heat up for 2 minutes.
- Dust the fish with the seasoned flour, shake off the excess and sear in the oil. Let at least 2 of the 4 sides of the fish cubes sear to a golden brown. You might also want to just "kiss" the other edges in the heat by holding the browned sides with tongs and pressing the uncooked sides onto the hot oil for a few seconds.
You might have to cook the fish in batches if your pan is too small. Set aside the finished fish as you do the rest. Add more of the reserved olive oil if you need it.
- Remove the fish to a paper towel and let drain.
- Pour in the ouzo and scrape off any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add the honey-fish-sauce-olive oil mixture and mix everything well. Let this cook down until the whole surface of the pan is a mass of bubbles. Turn off the heat.
- Add the fish back into the pan and coat with the sauce.
- Serve over rice garnished with the oregano and the black pepper.
To drink, choose an austere white wine to cut through the sweetness of the glaze. Good choices would be a Greek Assyrtiko, a Pinot Grigio, a Chenin Blanc or a Sauvignon Blanc.