“Often it just seems like we’re creating something new at State Bird when, on closer inspection, we’re simply tweaking time-honored flavor combinations. This preparation is a great example: it’s essentially a reimagining of trout à la grenobloise, one of my favorite French fish dishes. The ingredients might be altered but the fundamental elements that make the dish such a pleasure remain intact. Instead of capers, lemon segments, and parsley tossed with brown butter, the salty element comes from spiced fish sauce, the citrus is sweet-tart mandarins, and the herbs are cilantro and mint. Slivers of ginger underscore the Asian orientation. Hazelnuts add texture and nod to the almonds in the similar (and similarly tasty) preparation à la almandine. Respecting tradition is what allows us to successfully break with it.” —Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski with JJ Goode in their 2018 Beard Award–nominated State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook.
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Four 4-ounce skin-on red trout, sea trout, or arctic char fillets
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon State Bird Garum (or high-quality fish sauce)
- 1 tablespoon julienned ginger
- 2 mandarin oranges, segmented and white pith removed, plus 2 teaspoons mandarin orange juice
- 16 hazelnuts, toasted, and halved
- 20 mint leaves
- 8 cilantro sprigs, thick stems discarded, picked into a few delicate clusters of leaves
- 1 cup baby mustard greens
Grind the jasmine rice to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Pour the rice powder through a fine-mesh sieve into a small skillet, set over medium-high heat, and cook, shaking and tossing constantly, until the rice powder is very aromatic and just begins to smoke, about 5 minutes. Transfer the powder to a plate and let it cool.
Melt the butter in a small light-colored skillet over medium-low heat. Let it froth and bubble, occasionally stirring and pushing the froth aside to check on the color, until the butter turns a caramel hue, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
Pat the fillets dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. One by one, add the fillets, skin-side-down, to the rice powder, pressing lightly to help the rice powder adhere.
Warm the grapeseed oil in a heavy skillet (wide enough to hold the fillets with room to spare) over high heat until you see wisps of smoke. Add the fillets, skin-side-down, and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat to medium and continue to cook until the skin is light golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets, cook for 30 seconds more, and transfer, skin-side-up, to a platter.
Add the garum, ginger, mandarin segments, mandarin juice, and hazelnuts to the brown butter and set over high heat. Cook, swirling the skillet, just until the mixture comes to a simmer, about 30 seconds. Remove the mixture from the heat, add the mint and cilantro, swirl again, and spoon the mixture over the fish. Top with the mustard greens. Serve right away.
Reprinted with permission from State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski with JJ Goode, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.