Thursday Night Menu: Ming Tsai Edition

Couldn’t sleep the other night and was channel surfing when I stumbled upon my current celebrity chef crush, Ming Tsai. He had me at sesame seeds.  I love sesame seeds and since that was the theme of the entire episode, I was hooked.  I tried two of the recipes and decided they’d be good for tonight’s menu. One thing I really like about this dinner it is a one-pan meal. Quick and easy to cook and quick and easy to clean up. And dessert is a breeze to make and addictive.  These are my versions of his, I didn’t change much because they were already simple and tasty.

On the board tonight:

  1. Sesame Chive Fish
  2. Buttered Edamames & Spinach
  3. Sesame Brittle

Sesame-Chive Fish with Buttered Edamames & Spinach

  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 6-ounce pieces butterfish, cod, halibut, or a favorite fish (really, this recipe works with any fish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 cup edamames*
  • 2 packed cups baby spinach, washed and dried
  • splash of white wine
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • oil

Large sauté pan or skillet

Season fish with salt and pepper. Place pan over medium-high heat, lightly coat with oil, add 1 tablespoon butter and sear the seasoned fish on both sides, then cook on both sides, about 4 minutes each side. Fish should flake easily. Remove and set aside. Wipe out pan and add 1 tablespoon butter and sauté the shallots. Add the edamames, spinach, dash of salt and pepper, add wine, toss until spinach is just limp. Arrange vegetables on platter and place fish on top. Garnish with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

*you can substitute fresh snow peas if you like, which is what I did.

Sesame Brittle

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • salt

saucepan, wax paper and baking sheet

In saucepan over high heat, melt butter and sugar and stir to combine. Without stirring, cook until mixture becomes a light to medium caramel color, about 3-5 minutes, then add sesame seeds and stir in. Pour mixture onto a wax paper or well oiled parchment paper covered baking sheet and spread into an even, thin layer, about 1/8 to /4-inch thick, with wooden spoon. Shape will be irregular, but don’t worry, you are just going to break it into pieces after it cools anyway. Immediately shake a bit of salt over top of mixture and lightly press into caramel using spoon. I used less than a 1/4 tsp for the entire mixture and that was plenty, though your mileage may vary. Allow to set-up for about 10-15 minutes. When brittle has hardened and cooled, break into pieces and enjoy. Store in an air-tight container. I made this almost a week ago and it’s still fresh and tasty. Not to mention addictive.

You can see his original recipes here. I was hoping for video, but no such luck, because half the fun of this menu is watching him cook.

Shopping List:

  • 4-6 oz fish fillets
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1-1/2 cups toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 cup edamames or snow peas
  • 16 oz fresh baby spinach

Also: Chives, white wine, sugar

5 thoughts on “Thursday Night Menu: Ming Tsai Edition

  1. Pingback: Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Open Thread: Thursday Night Menu Edition

  2. I saw this episode a week or two ago when it was originally on. The food looked amazing. Even my 5 year old wanted to try it!


  3. I cannot WAIT to try this! I am so gaaaai for sesame seeds. One of the happiest moments in my culinary life was when I found “lingue lunghe” (“long tongues”) at the supermarket by my nonna’s flat in Florence.

    All they are, is a thin, roughly-rolled-out cracker COATED with sesame seeds. MMmmmmmmmm. I cannot find them anywhere but they probably are not all that hard to make.


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