Pan Roast Lemonfish With Ginger Pea Risotto

  • Featured in Episode 118
  • Serves 6


For The Sauce
3  cups fresh-squeezed orange juice
8  tablespoons cold butter, cubed

For The Risotto
4  cups Basic Chicken Stock
2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1  onion, minced
2  tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1  cup Arborio rice
2  cups sugar snap peas, sliced thin on a bias
1/2  cup whipped cream
3  green onions, very thin sliced on the bias      
2  tablespoons butter
2  tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For The Fish
4  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil                         
6  6-ounce lemonfish steaks
1  cup flour
1  handful small cilantro leaves and or garlic chive blossoms


Lemonfish or Cobia, is a very lean. Brown only three steaks at a time to keep the pan from cooking and steaming the fish.  You want to caramelize the outside so the fish browns, but stays rare inside. The risotto should be creamy and loose.

For the sauce, put the orange juice into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and gently boil over moderate heat until reduced to ¼ cup. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cold butter, one cube at a time, whisking constantly until wach cube of butter has melted and been incorporated into the sauce before adding more. Season the orange-butter sauce with salt and keep it on a warm spot of the stove.

For the risotto, bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium pot over moderate heat. Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow saucepan over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 5-10 minutes. Add the ginger and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly toasted, 2-3 minutes. 

Ladle the hot Chicken Stock into the rice, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently and waiting until the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. Continue to cook the rice in this way about fifteen minutes, then add the sugar snap peas and cook until tender, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the whipped cream and cook until it has reduced by half, 3-5 minutes.  Add the green onions, turn off the heat, then stir in the butter and the cheese. Season with salt. Keep the risotto warm in a warm spot on the stove.

For the fish, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.   Season both sides of the fish steaks with salt, then dredge them in the flour. Carefully lay 3 fish steaks in the skillet, then give the skillet a shake to make sure the fish doesn’t stuck to the bottom. Reduce the heat to moderate. Cook the fish until a golden brown crust has formed on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then use a spatula to flip the fish over. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.  Drain the fish on paper towels. Wipe out skillet and repeat with the remaining olive oil and fish steaks. Spoon equal portions of the warm orange butter sauce into the middle of six deep warmed bowls. Divide the risotto evenly between the bowls, spooning it into the center of the butter sauce so that the sauce spreads evenly to the edges of the bowl. Place lemonfish on the risotto and scatter the cilantro leaves and/or  garlic chive blossoms on top.