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On March 27, it was the 3rd Annual Chick Writers’ Press Reception poolside at the J.W. Marriott and what a treat! I so enjoyed myself but as a food writer, I know it is my responsibility to tell you about the food and the incredible food demo by Chef Roy of Ceres Restaurant at the J.W. Marriott. So I will put down my Muckraker Mai Tai, Headliner Blue Hawaiian, Writers Block Sling and The Communicators Colada and tell you how to prepare a tropical fish dish.
Chef Roy of Ceres Restaurant demonstrated TI leaf steamed pacific snapper with ginger, cilantro, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and orange segments seasoned with salt, pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil served with hot sides of poi and lemon grass essence rice. The dish was yummy and preparing it is not as difficult as it sounds. Asian markets in Las Vegas carry all of the ingredients and in Hawaii, any dish prepared with TI leaves is called Lau Lau.
First, take the TI (pronounced T-I but not Treasure Island) leaf and place it in a steamer to make the leaf soft and pliable. Next, cut and julienne the entire orange (with peel). Cut the stem off the mushrooms and julienne them as well. Also, julienne the ginger if using whole ginger. The fish should be on ice waiting to be cooked.
The TI leaf should be pliable. Take your leaf, spread it out and place the sliced oranges, bock choy, cilantro, shiitake mushrooms and fish, then season with salt and pepper and wrap it in the pliable TI leaves. You will want to cook it in the steamer about 5 to 7 minutes. To give you a guideline, 4 oz of fish would be cooked 5 minutes in the steamer.
Meanwhile, simmer the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil to pour over the fish. After steaming, unwrap the leaf and pour the sauce you have been simmering and you have Lau Lau with steamed pacific snapper.
Lau Lau can also use spinach, pulled pork, fish and sweet potatoes. Hot peanut oil also enhances fish and brings out the cilantro flavor.
We want to thank Chef Roy of Ceres Restaurant as well as all of the staff of JW Marriott for their hospitality in hosting the 3rd Annual Chick Writers’ Press Reception.