This simple pompano is my stand-by dish from the oven to the table, especially after hours in traffic on a rainy day. I love how pleasantly sweet pompano tastes and when marinated with ground fennel, turmeric, salt and extra virgin olive oil it becomes magically caramelized. The olive oil is the key to seal the spices, making the fish moist and tender to the bones. While the fish is baking, I quickly cook a pot of brown rice and stir fry some bok choy with bacon. Everything is dished out at the same time and a nourishing complete home-cooked dinner is set on the table to enjoy.
2 medium pompano fish (about 2 pounds), cut into 2 inch steaks
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon good quality chili powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the fish in a large bowl. Add the lime juice and rub all over the fish. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to give the fish a lovely citrus aroma. Rinse the fish and pat dry with a paper towel as you don’t want the lime to overpower the fish.
3. Line a medium size baking tray with foil then place the fish steaks on the foil. Sprinkle ground turmeric over the fish steak followed individually with chili powder, fennel, coriander, garlic powder and finally salt. Rub each fish steak thoroughly with the ground spice inside out. Sprinkle more salt if needed.
4. Pour the olive oil over the fish making sure each fish is well coated with the oil.
5. Place the fish into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The fish will flake easily when pulled with a fork and it looks evenly brown, this is a good indication the fish is done and it is time to remove it from the oven.
6. Carefully remove the hot tray from the oven and place the fish on a serving plate. Serve the fish while hot along with Red Lentil Soup, Asian greens stir-fry and basmati rice on the side.