4 each 6 oz. pieces of bass fillet
3 c. chicken stock
2 15 oz. cans coconut milk (be sure it is unsweetened)
zest of 3/4 lime
1/2 clove garlic, minced
8 stalks lemongrass, washed and cut into very thin slices (on the bias)
6T. finely chopped fresh, peeled ginger
16 shiitake mushrooms, stems separated from the caps (which are cut into thin slices)
1/4 t. - 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 - 2 t. nuoc mann (fish juice)
juice of 1 1/2 limes
3 T. chopped cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
Combine chicken stock, coconut milk, zest, garlic, lemongrass, 4 T, ginger, and shiitake stems in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.
Strain the liquid.
Combine remaining ingredients (except the fish) and bring to a boil.
Taste to adjust flavors and seasoning.
Place pieces of bass in the coconut broth. Simmer over low heat until cooked through but not dry (about 3-9 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet).
Remove fish from the broth and place on a bed of lightly sautéed or stir-fried spinach.
Spoon broth over and around the fish.
Sprinkle fish with additional cilantro. (Any leftover broth makes great soup the next day.)
Yield: Servings 4