Yum, But Not Yum-O: Ginger-Scallion Napa Slaw with Sizzly Five-Spice Snapper

I hardly ever dislike Rachael Ray dishes, but this one was just so-so (hence the yum, but not yum-o in the title of this post). Keep in mind that I don't usually cook fish. I am on a quest to be braver about cooking it, in part for the variety and also because of the health benefits. So, when I saw Ginger-Scallion Napa Slaw with Sizzly Five-Spice Snapper in Every Day with Rachael Ray, I thought I would give it a try.

So, here's what I learned - I don't think I like Chinese Five Spice powder. Unfortch, I now have most of a bottle of it in my pantry, so I guess I could give it a second chance and try Rachael's Sweet Sesame Five-Spice Popcorn. I also learned that I have a tendancy to overcook Napa cabbage. Next time I would take it off the stove much earlier so it was still a bit crispy. Since I overcooked it, it was a bit mushy. Ick.

I used tilapia instead of snapper because snapper is on the the Fish List as a fish to avoid, while tilapia is listed as one to enjoy. This was a very healthy meal - I served it with some Near East Roasted Garlic Whole Grain blend. It definitely came in under 30 minutes - almost 25, in fact. Anyone have any tips for keeping the fish smell out of the house after or during preparation of fish? Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets.

4 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil, 4 turns of the pan
Four 6-ounce red snapper fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (found in the spice aisle)
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium head napa cabbage (about 1 3/4 pounds), shredded
1 bunch of scallions (8 to 10), cut into thirds, then shredded lengthwise into matchsticks [This sounds much harder than it actually was.]
1/4 cup soy sauce (eyeball it)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey

1. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 turn of the pan. Score the skin side of the fish with a few crosshatch marks to keep it from curling. [Mine didn't come with any skin on it, so I just threw the darn thing in there.] Season the fish with salt, pepper and the five-spice powder. Put the fish in the skillet, skin side down, and cook, turning once, until it's no longer raw in its thickest part, about 4 minutes on each side.

2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, 3 turns of the pan. When the oil ripples, add the ginger, garlic and cabbage. Wilt and sear the cabbage for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the scallions and cook for another minute. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and honey. Toss the cabbage to coat evenly with the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Pile the ginger-scallion cabbage on dinner plates and top with the red snapper.


  1. Sometimes its just one of those days. Last night we made the meatloaf muffins and green beans: a huge favourite last time we made it... but not this time unfortunately. So I'm saying its just one of those days.

  2. I had that same feeling last time I made John's Fish (the tilapia with tomatillos). I don't think I did anything different, but who knows?


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