Words and Recipe by
The Last Bite: Keep Them Fishing
Most Maine fishermen found themselves in uncharted waters in the wake of COVID-19 containment measures. Prior to the pandemic, almost 90% of the seafood consumed in the United States was eaten in restaurants. With that market slashed dramatically, fishermen have taken to marketing their catch directly to consumers. Early mornings at sea now flow into long days selling seafood in parking lots and filling coolers left on front porches across the state. Hats off to their extra effort to supply Maine eaters with delicious, healthy food during this trying time. The best way to show your appreciation is to cook and eat more fish—and this recipe represents an easy way to hit that mark.
Seared Flaky White Fish with a Spicy Ginger Soy Sauce
This recipe will work with any flaky white fish—cod, cusk, haddock, hake, halibut, or pollock—that your local fisherman has available on a given day.
4 (5- to 6-ounce) white fish fillets
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 ½ tablespoons chopped scallions
1 tablespoon honey
1 large garlic clove, grated
2 teaspoons hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups chopped greens (like spinach, kale, chard, or bok choy)
Season fish with salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Whisk soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ½ cup warm water, vinegar, ginger, scallions, honey, garlic, and chili paste, in a measuring cup.
Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish, skin side up. Cook 2 minutes, then use a spatula to gently turn fish over. Arrange greens in pan around fish. Pour sauce mixture over fish and greens.
Cover and steam until fish is opaque and greens are wilted, 5–7 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Serve with steamed rice.
Christine has lived in many places, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, England and France. But her professional world has consistently been grounded in just two: in journalism and in the kitchen. Throughout her 30-year writing career, she’s covered sports, politics, business and technology. But for the past 10 years after completing culinary school, she’s focused on food. Her words and recipes about eating locally and sustainably have appeared in publications from The Portland Press Herald to Fine Cooking. Her award-winning cookbook Green Plate Special (link is: was published in 2017. When she’s not laboring over a cutting board or a keyboard, she’s learning from her two semi-adult children, a community of food-minded friends, hundreds of productive Maine farmers, thousands of innovative chefs near and far, and her 30,000 honeybees.