Have you ever had a meal, when you couldn't stop going ummmm? Well I have. Today we went to Ocean Beach. It was a nice day, not too hot, not too cold. Just right. So we were walking on the beach. We went to the cliffs and looked at the tide pools and the waves crashing on the cliffs, eroding the rock. Then we walked the other way to the dog park and dog watched, taking care to avoid the wet spots and poo deposits. And we walked along the pier, with the fisherman fishing. So we started to get hungry. The Food Pimp have a craving for clams. Our only choice was of course, 99 Ranch Market.
So we got in the car and drove up there, even though it was Saturday and we knew it would be a clusterfuck. We went along the back wall to the seafood first. All the fish did not look too fresh. So we got some clams - manila clams and some cockles of the same size. Very clean and fresh looking. We saw some cute little sea snails, so we got a couple handfuls. The snails looked like slightly larger cousins to the teeny ones we saw at Sunset Cliffs earlier. So then we were hoping for fish. We looked through all the fresh fish again, and nothing looked too good. Then the FP saw some Taiwanese Mackerel pike with the sushi grade fish. Perfect. Then we got produce and sake. That's it. We headed south on 805 to cook up dinner.
We started with shellfish appetizer. The FP did the clams, and I did the snails. So he did a light saute of garlic and ginger, then added sake and brought it to a boil. He made a nice light broth, then threw the clams in. I went the opposite route. I melted butter, heated up a pinch of garlic and ginger, then I poured some dark soy sauce in. This is the thicker kind that isn't as salty. I let it boil for a bit and added a splash of sake. Then I threw the snails in and covered it. When the snails were cooked, I took them out and reduced the sauce a bit and poured it over the snails. So we had shellfish appetizer with rice bowls. The FP made a yummy hot sauce too with Thai chilis, vinegar and Patis. If you don't know yet, Patis is Filipino fish sauce. The best brand is Rufina. If you haven't had it, bookmark this page and run to the nearest Asian market and get some! D - Fukn -lish!
The little snails were sometimes hard to pick out with the toothpicks though, but that did not stop us from trying.
Then we prepared the main course. We decided to do something other than the norm. The FP cooked the veggies and I did the protein. So he gently steamed the snow pea leaves and shimeji mushrooms (the big thick mushrooms that you can shred by hand). I did the mackerel pike. I just salted them with sea salt. Then I heated up oil and fried them over medium high heat. They looked perfect. So we each had a fish and some veggies and rice, with the chili vinegar and fresh lime squeezed over it. OMG!
I cannot express to you how good this was. I started with chopsticks, then I abandoned them for the fingers, so I could really get into my food and scoop up that rich flavor. Nothing like it. Anyone who reads this, you should all be jealous!