Asian-Inspired Soy Poached Tilefish


As I’ve mentioned before, while I love fish, my knowledge and exposure to seafood has been limited — I’ve eaten more shellfish and the like (lobsters, scallops, mussels, calamari, shrimp) than fish (I’m a huge salmon and swordfish fan though)… I’ve ordered more fish at restaurants too than I’ve ever prepared myself at home…

This summer honestly should be nicknamed Kati’s Summer of Fish!

Of course, this was all before the Mermaid Garden CSF entered my life. I’ve still got a whole summer of my weekly fish deliveries, but already I’ve sampled more different types of fish and been exposed to more fish preparations than ever before! I’ve had the chance to make swordfish and mussels and calamari at home — but also for the first time I’ve tried tuna, porgy, monkfish, mahi mahi and now Golden Tilefish.


Once again a first! I’ve never even seen tilefish on a restaurant menu!

As Bianca and Mark from the Mermaid Garden explain —

Golden tilefish, the largest of the tilefishes, are found in deeper water- starting at 250 ft all the way down to depths of 1,500 ft. Like many tilefishes, golden tiles are mound builders, constructing homes known as “pueblos” from sand and coral rubble. While these fish frequently live in “pods” or groups of fish like their haremic hermaphroditic relatives, it is unknown whether L. chamaeleonticeps changes sex. 

The crew of the F/V Sea Capture caught your tilefish on deep- water long lines off of Montauk, Long Island. Tilefish cook up and eat a lot like striped bass or snapper. 

I took one of Bianca and Mark’s suggestion and poached the tilefish in soy sauce (using a Mark Bittman recipe as a guide). Home alone for the weekend, I cooked this delicious meal for my aunt at her apartment. We watched movies and had a low key night in…. combined with a healthy quick dinner, what could be better?

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Asian-Inspired Soy Poached Tilefish

I love how beautiful this fish is!

I added chopped bok choy and scallions to the soy mixture (water, soy and sugar) and poached the fish for about ten minutes. It was tender and flaky and had great flavor from the soy sauce.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Asian-Inspired Soy Poached Tilefish

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Asian-Inspired Soy Poached Tilefish

I reduced the soy mixture and tossed Chinese noodles with the sauce and sauteed bok choy. Mark Bittman’s recipe used dried chili to have a slightly spicy soy sauce poaching liquid… I’m not a fan of spice so I omitted it, but realized the noodles were missing a little kick. I added a little sweet chili sauce to the noodle mixture and drizzled a little atop the fish. And the final touch.. a garnish of chopped cashews for some crunch.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Asian-Inspired Soy Poached Tilefish

Asian-Inspired Soy Poached Tilefish
  • 1 lb tilefish
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger;
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  1. Put a large, deep skillet over medium heat; add vegetable oil and minced ginger; cook until sizzling. Add fish, soy sauce, water, scallions, cilantro and rice vinegar.
  2. Boil, cover and turn off heat. Fish will be done in about 10 minutes.


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