RECIPE: Tilapia With Gingered Rhubarb Sauce | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food AdventuresRECIPE: Tilapia With Gingered Rhubarb Sauce | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
Ginger is a wonderfully pungent spice with a long history of cultivation. In China, where the plant originated, as well as in other Asian countries, the spice is used in a multitude of both savory and sweet dishes, is eaten raw or pickled and is made into candy. In the U.S., ginger is especially associated with holiday baking, thanks to the western tradition of making gingerbread cookies at Christmas. Crystallized ginger is another favorite baking item—as well as a candy. Ginger makes a soothing tea (by itself, with boiling water, or by adding raw slices to your favorite tea). Ginger is high in antioxidants, and as such, is one of the Seven Super Spices.
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, not a fruit. The giveaway might be that it looks like red celery stalks with cabbage-like leafy tops (some can be dark green like spinach or kale). By the time it gets to market, the leaves have been cut off, and we only see the red stalks. (Another giveaway: fruits carry their seeds inside; vegetable seeds scatter in the wind. You see seeds in an apple, avocado, cucumber and tomato, but not in broccoli, carrots or lettuce. Lacking sweetness doesn’t make it a fruit.)
Also native to Asia, rhubarb has long been used in Chinese medicine. As anyone knows who has cooked a sweet recipe with rhubarb, it needs copious amounts of sugar to offset its natural bitterness; thus, its use as a food in the West didn’t come into play until sugar became widely available in the 17th century (sugar cane also originated in Asia). But since then, what a joy! Stewed rhubarb is a delight, as is a rhubarb or strawberry-rhubarb pie or crumble. We make a wicked rhubarb ice cream every summer, but this was our first experience with a savory rhubarb recipe.
Tilapia are a large fresh water fish, and the third most important fish in aquaculture (fish farming) after carp and salmon. Originally from Africa, tilapia are now farmed worldwide. They are sometimes called St. Peter’s fish after a story in the New Testament in which the apostle Peter caught a fish with a shekel (Israeli coin) in its mouth (though the Bible does not name the species of fish).
Fresh rhubarb and powdered ginger. Photo
Recipe: When combined with roasted ginger, the tilapia in this recipe for Hot & Sour Tilapia with Gingered Rhubarb Sauce is enveloped in exciting layers of spicy and sour, with warming notes and a powerful tang. Prep time for this dish is 20 minutes, followed by about 8 minutes of cooking time.