Back in Austin after a few months away and trying to get back into the swing of things.  We had JP's personal assistant in town for a day and she had requested fish for dinner.  I was hoping to find something interesting at the store when my eyes came across some beautiful escolar.  I couldn't pass on this buttery fish.  I'm not going to go into all the names and controversy surrounding this fish but I do talk a little more about it in a previous


.   I also saw these gigantic green mangos and to my surprise a lot of them were ripe.  I bought a few of the ripened ones to eat and one of the green unripened ones.  I wanted unripened one for a salad and I immediately thought of green mango kimchi.  Green mangos if you have never had them are just what you would think a under ripened mango to be; a little on the sour side although they still have a mango sweetness to it.  In many latin countries they salt the green mango and add a little chile to it, in essence that is what I did.    I braised duck legs in a asian broth and then stuffed them in potsticker wrappers and steamed them.  The sauce I made was from edamame, mint, cilantro, and coconut milk.  It is a really easy sauce that you can make in about 10 minutes.  I added some leeks and black forbidden rice to round out the dish.  Lots of flavors and textures going on but eaten all together was really good.  A few steps to get this one put together but it was well worth it.

1 lb escolar cut into 4 oz portions

3 tbsp coriander seeds crushed

3 tbsp of olive oil

salt to taste

2 leeks sliced whole and blanched in salted water for 4 minutes

1 cup of forbidden black rice

1 3/4 cup of water


2 tbsp of butter

Green Mango Kimchi

1 large green mango julienned

1 small napa cabbage julienned (save the outer leaves for steaming dumplings)

2 tbsp of aleppo or togarashi chile

2 tbsp sambal chile paste

salt to taste

Edamame coconut sauce

8 oz shelled edamame

1 can of coconut milk

1/4 cup of cilantro leaves

1/4 cup of mint leaves

1 lime juiced

salt to taste

Duck dumplings

2 tbsp of sesame oil

4 duck legs

3 tbsp of chinese 5 spice

1 onion chopped

1 carrot chopped

1 finger of ginger chopped

2 stalks of lemon grass chopped

1 bay leaf

6 cloves of garlic chopped

1 stalk of celery chopped

1/2 cup of mirin

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/2 cup of black vinegar

1/2 cup of vegetarian stir fry sauce

5 cups of chicken stock or water

3 tbsp of sambal


1 package of potsticker wrappers

3 tbsp of chopped cilantro

3 tbsp of chopped green onion

3 tbsp of sriracha

4 oz of braising liquid

4 napa cabbage leaves

1 egg

salt to taste

For the duck dumplings

In a medium braising pot on medium high heat add sesame oil.  Season duck legs lightly with salt and add them to the pot skin side down.  Sear the duck legs for 4 minutes until golden brown and then flip.  Add all of the vegetables and 5 spice.  Cook for another 4 minutes and then add mirin and black vinegar.  Reduce the liquid by half and then add soy sauce, stir fry sauce, samba and chicken stock or water.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer and cook for hour and half or until the legs are tender and about to fall apart.  Then take the legs out and let them cool for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile strain the liquid and skim any fat off of the top.  Set aside for later.  Take the meat off the bones throwing the bones and skin (you could keep skin to make chips if you would like, wished I would have thought of that before).  Place the meat in a food processor with cilantro, green onions, sriracha, and a little of the braising liquid.  Pulse a few times to combine everything.  You want the meat to be in small pieces not like a paste or baby food but small enough to make the dumplings without large pieces of duck to pierce your dumpling skin ( think cooked ground beef, small pieces ).  You need to season the duck with salt and add enough braising liquid to bring it all together.    Set aside to cool to room temperature

To make the dumplings take an egg and whisk with a fork or pastry brush, set aside.  Lay the potsticker skins flat on a cutting board, I do about 15 at a time or as many that can fit on my cutting board.  Place a spoonful of duck leg mixture in the middle of each skin.  Then with the pastry brush, brush egg around half of each of the skins.  Then fold them all over so you are left with a half moon shape.  Then take the brush and barely brush the ends of one corner of each half moon dumpling.  Then take the side that is egg washed and fold it under the side that isn't egg washed and pinch together the ends.  Continue until all the dumplings are complete.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment.  Set aside until ready to steam.

For the forbidden black rice.

In a small pot add water and salt. Bring to a boil and add the black rice.  Cover and turn down to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes.  This can be done ahead of time and laid out flat to cool on a sheet pan.  Or if doing the same day keep warm and finish with salt, pepper, and butter.  You might want to add a touch more water to give it a creamy consistency.  Keep warm and set aside

For the edamame sauce

Bring a small pot of water to a boil with salt.  Add edamame to the pot and cook for about 5 minuted or until they are tender.  Strain and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.  Then place the edamame in a blender with basil, mint, and coconut milk.  Puree until really smooth.  Season with salt and lime juice.  Keep at room temperature and set aside.

For the green mango kimchi

Place mango, cabbage, sambal, and spices in a bowl and season with salt.  Set aside to marinate at least an hour.

For the Escolar and plate

Take steamer baskets and line with the outer leaves of the napa cabbage. Place the dumplings around the steamer basket making sure to give them plenty of room so they don't stick.  Place over a pot of boiling water and steam for 6 minutes.  Set aside and keep warm.

Take coriander seeds and place in a spice grinder pulse for 8 seconds.  Then take escolar and season with salt and crushed coriander seeds on the filet side.  In a large sauté pan on medium heat add olive oil and the escolar.  Cook the fish for about 5-7minutes on the seasoned side until it forms a golden brown crust.  Then season the bottom side with salt and flip over.  Cook for a few more minutes and then take off the heat.  Take blanched leeks and place in a pan with 1 tbsp of butter. Season with salt and pepper and cook until hot.

To plate add a spoonful of sauce down on the plate.  Place a spoonful of black rice next to it.  Add the fish on top of the sauce next to the rice.  Place the green mango kimchi on top.  Then add the leeks and the dumplings.  Finish by add a little of the duck braising liquid on top of the dumpling and edamame sauce.  Garnish with green onions and serve!