Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Swai Pho

Just what the heck is Swai?  Swai is a Chinese Catfish/Shark.  It can not be sold as a Catfish in the United States because its not technically a Catfish, its a Catfish Shark (source Wikipedia, Swai).  To me Catfish sort of look like Sharks, well sans the big teeth.  So, Swai is better suited for fish farming because it grows faster than regular Catfish.  As long as its good eats is all I am concerned about.  Lets put it in the Pho...
 I was at the Asian market on Saturday musing, what to make.  I really shouldn't goto the market when I am hungry, I wind up buying everything that looks appealing.  I had already bought some Swai at another market, and was trying to decide how to cook it.  I got some Rice Vermicelli, baby Bok Choy, and Okra, then also had some Hatch Green Chile at home.  I have been putting Okra in stir fries lately, ever since the Fish Stew.  I am going to stir fry the vegetables before I put them into the Pho so they are cooked well first.
I am using some leftover Chicken Stock that I had made earlier in the week for the Pho stock.  I had bought a whole roasted Chicken, and then used the leftover parts to make a stock, along with Carrot, Celery, and Onion.  Homemade stock is always better than the Chicken Bullion.  The Swai will get poached in the Chicken stock for 5 minutes before we assemble the Pho.  Here we see the Rice Vermicelli and the stir fried vegetables awaiting the Swai and the Chicken stock.
I'll take the Swai filet and cut it into 4 large pieces to poach it.  It is easier to manage large pieces when they are free in the stock.  The Swai will poach for 5 minutes until it is white and flaky.  Then we will need a garnish for the Pho, which is usually bias sliced Scallions for me, and maybe a sprig of fresh Thai Basil.
When the Swai is cooked I will rescue it from the Chicken stock, and cut in into smaller pieces.  I like to have bread with any soup, and my favorite way to prepare bread for soup is to griddle the bread with some butter, and then season it with Garlic salt.  Fish Pho, and not just Swai, has become a regular staple food for me.  The Chicken stock is something that is a natural comfort food, and then add the Rice Vermicelli, and stir fried vegetables, and its just nomlishious.  Throw in a little Fish Sauce, and some green chile, and I am a happy monkey...

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