I like to combine ethnic flavor profiles. Who would have thought Philippine & Middle Eastern. IT WORKS! Patismansi is a type of fish sauce originating in the Philippines. It's like regular fish sauce found in south east Asian countries but infused with Philippine lemon or (Calimansi).
It's a dark amber color with what I find to be a slight smoky overtone. The salad I serve with it is my riff on couscous salads found in Israel & Lebanon. I prefer to use the larger Israeli couscous. It has a nicer texture in the salad's cornucopia of ingredients.
1 1/2 lb fillet of grouper from your fish monger.
juice of one lime
2 tbl spoons Patismansi fish sauce with Philipine lemon from your Asian market
2 tbl spoons good soy sauce from your Asian market
3 1/2 tbl spoons of quality honey
1 tbl spoon of brown or palm sugar if you have it.
2 tbl spoons of sesame oil
salt & red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup of Israeli couscous
1 cucumber peeled seeded and diced
12 grape tomatoes diced
8 dried apricots diced
1 healthy sprig of mint torn
1 8oz container of Feta crumbles
healthy douse of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl spoon of minced preserved garlic
1/2 a lemon squeezed
salt & paper to taste
OK, the salad 1st. In a medium sauce pot. Bring 2 1/2 cups of salted water to a boil. Put in your couscous and boil 4 1/2 to 5 minutes. Strain into a hand strainer and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Transfer your couscous into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to mix. Next dice up your cukes, tomatoes & apricots into a small dice and mix them in with the couscous. Next add your olive oil, garlic, feta and mint. Then mix real well and refrigerate till service.
Now the fish! In a small bowl add your Patismansi fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, brown or palm sugar, sesame oil, salt & red pepper flakes and mix. Cut and cube your grouper fillet in 2" square medallions. Make sure you spec out any stray bones. Grouper tends to be a pretty clean fillet, but you never know. To cook you'll need a basting brush and about a 10" frying pan. In the pan. Pour a liberal mix of plain vegetable & sesame oil to coat the pan. Bring the heat to medium. About 7 or 8 on the dial. Before placing you fish in the pan. Give the medallions a good coating of you glaze on both sides with your basting brush. Then place them in the pan to sizzle. Give each nugget a little rub around in the pan seal the side and keep it from sticking. This will go quick so keep an eye on what you're doing. The key is to get a good caramelized crust on the outside top and bottom. Re-coating the fish liberally with the glaze as you cook each side. What you'll look for is the pan down edges of the fish to begin going a dark mahogany color. When you see that It's time to flip the nuggets and re-glaze. You'll pretty much want to use every bit of the glaze. When you get down to the last. Drizzle it over the fish. With a pair of tongs remove the fish from the pan to a holding plate and tell'um dinners ready! Plate up and eat. I think you'll find this international pairing. ROCKS!