A sense of plaice.

Oriental Baked Plaice “God, Conor you’re very funny. I was reading that post you did about, what was it? last night. How do you come up with your ideas for the blog. It’s about food isn’t it? That one last week, what was it? God, it was so funny. How do you think of the things you say, like, eh, eh, eh. What was it about again? You know the one you did. It was so funny… God, yeah, etc. etc. etc ad nauseam.”

So went a very one-sided conversation with an acquaintance of mine. Now, when I say acquaintance, I mean a bloke that I don’t know very well and like even less. He may read this and find it very funny too, even if he can not remember what it is about. I didn’t find the experience very funny. It undermines my efforts. What am I doing here, creating vacuous laughs for the sub normal or creating excellent dishes for the average punter or puntess to try? I need to realise what I am at and why. I need to find a sense of place.

Now there’s a good idea, a sense of place. What about a small play on words and call the post “A sense of plaice” and then do Baked Oriental Plaice on Bok Choi and Fresh Noodles. Nothing funny in that. Damn him and his moronic ways.

I was lucky enough to get a beautiful big plaice in George’s Fish Shop (They occasionally run funny competitions on their Facebook page). For this less than hilarious dish, you will need the stuff in the picture above and some chili oil and garlic. The full list includes the following:

  • A fresh 1kilo plaice
  • 2 chilis
  • Spring onions chopped into small pieces
  • Dried Chinese mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced
  • Plenty of Bok Choi
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Ginger cut into shreds
  • Half a kilo of fresh noodles
  • Soy sauce
  • Chili oil
  • Chinese rice wine (or some of your maiden auntie’s sherry)

Perhaps dried noodles would cause more of a smirk but let’s go with the fresh ones this time. Wash the bok choi.

Bok Choi

Beautiful Bok Choi. One of my favourite oriental ingredients. Nothing funny about that.

Put a big pot of water on to boil. Wash and clean the plaice. Rub the underside with some oil and place (geddit?) it in a roasting tray. Chop the mushrooms and sprinkle over the fish.

Chinese Mushrooms

Chopped reconstituted Chinese mushrooms. They would break you up if they could.

Sprinkle on the spring onions, ginger and chopped chilis. In an attempt to raise a laugh, drizzle on some chili oil, soy sauce and rice wine.

Oriental Baked Plaice

Ready to go into the oven. Not really a side slapper, don’t you agree.

At this stage, you can chop the garlic and fry it in the wok, adding the bok choi as soon as the aroma of garlic starts to rise out of the wok. Stir fry this until it is cooked to your taste. I like it with the green bit floppy and the white bit crunchy. Pop the noodles into the boiling water. They don’t need a lot of cooking. At this stage, take the fish out of the oven. It has been in there for a less than side-splitting 15 minutes at 200 degrees C.

Oriental Baked Plaice

Oriental Baked Plaice just out of the oven. Hilarious, NOT, don’t you think?

Drain the noodles and get ready to serve. Stack some bok choi in as entertaining a way as you can imagine. Top this with some fish and the other bits from the oven.

Oriental Baked Plaice

Oriental Baked Plaice, Bok Choi and Fresh Noodles. No kidding!

There may not be much to laugh about here but, it was delicious. I do feel I have found my sense of plaice if not of place, if you know what I mean.

Funny that…

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Latest comments
  • nice. reminds me of doing whole fish in one of those bachelor toaster ovens in Hong Kong. must have been a small fish.

    • It must have. Still, in those days, you were cooking for one.

  • Lovely bok choy and bowl. You are “creating excellent dishes” that so stunned your acquaintance that he was at a lost for thoughts and words.

    • You are a very charitable person Rosemary. Very charitable indeed.

  • That looks really good. I must try that! That guy certainly won’t be laughing if he’s reading your blog today!

    • Thanks Emma, he does not deserve to though I suspect he is thick skinned enough (unlike the place).

  • No plaice in this place, but otherwise I consider you have travelled to my part of the world and done an admirably delicious job 🙂 ! [Stirfried bok choi in oyster sauce over hokkien noodles: I laugh eating that ’cause it does not get much better!]

    • Thanks Eha, place is a lovely delicate fish. It goes really well with the bok choi.

  • Sod em all. You’re doing this for you and we just happen to be your intelligent, attentive, adoring public. Love the fish pics.

    • You know how to get on my good side Luffy. Adore away!

  • Well done, Conor! Well done! This dish looks amazing, and I have not heard of plaice before so had to look it up. Apparently we have this on the east coast. It reminds me of a large sand dab…Will have to try this one, and thanks for the chuckle today! My best – Barb

    • Hi Barb, Yes, place would be very similar to a large sand dab. We used to spear them with bamboo spears near my home in Monkstown, just outside Dublin back when Adam was a twinkle…

      • Again, lovely post! I think that fellow from the beginning of your post might be so dense that he won’t even realize that you included him in this post! 🙂

  • I know exactly what you mean. Bok Choi (or Pak Choi, or Bok Choy or whatever) is much more interesting than other leaves, and you can hammer the hell out it, in the culinary sense, and it still comes out shining. My general problem with food blogging is that it tends to turn me into a fat git so I intersperse food posts with random bollocks in a desperate attempt to stay thin (I mean I have no intention of resorting to posting delicious green cabbage smoothies or flour-less, egg-less, everything-less bran muffins)

  • Hah – very good, Conor. Impressive recipe too. I love plaice.

  • Excellent, Conor. My mind is in a hungry plaice now.

  • I, too, had to google “plaice” and though I doubt I can find a whole fish, I’m certain I can get fillets. This is a great way to prepare a fish, Conor. Simple, yet flavorful, and a breeze to make. (And it has pasta. Yay!)

    • All the right ingredients for a success. Thanks John.

  • Pish posh. Some (or most) people just don’t understand us food bloggers. Nor do people realize how much time and energy is put into keeping up a blog like yours. You clearly love what you do and it shows!

  • We’re planting bok choi for the first time this year so I’m looking forward to trying out this flavour profile. We usually just chop it up and toss it in a salad but I think it’s time to branch out. I can understand how that conversation can be frustrating. You want people to read your blog but you don’t want the point of the blog to go winging over their heads. Especially when it’s a great blog!

    • Love that you are growing the Bok Choi. You will post about it, I hope. There is no accounting for ‘some people’ as we politely say.

      • Or as my Grandma used to say “Nowt so queer as folk!” Yes I will be posting about my gardening as it starts up. Just ordered a bunch of seeds today as a matter of fact. Can’t wait. 🙂

  • Nice looking fish, Conor. I love the flavor combinations and the fresh ingredients. All-in-all this is a very delightful dish that I would love to try. The closest we can get to plaice in DFW is Texas Gulf Flounder. Both are flatfish and apparently come from the Pleuronectidae family. I’m curious what the difference in taste would be. insofar as your acquaintance is concerned some people are just clueless. Just be glad he didn’t tell you that you didn’t know what you were talking about.

    • Thanks Richard. The flounder (if it is anything like our flounder) would work well. It is simplicity itself as you can see. So, worth a try when you get through all that chicken stock.

  • Oh you ad guys and your puns. (Having shared my plaice with one for the last quarter century or so, I know! Sorry…) Beautiful fish!

  • That’s annoying alright but at least the gestures were positive. Not like – oh my god what were you thinking last week with that umm eh umm etc.
    Gorgeous plaice and preparation. Happy New Year. wt

  • Okay, I’m not one for fish with the skin still on, but you make it look so appetizing with the noodles and bok choi – and the pun-y title warms my heart – that I might give this a try. Great stuff, Conor.

    • The skin is very thin and actually quite tasty. So give it a try Tommy.

  • That’s a lovely looking fish 🙂

  • I’ve made something similar with turbot, and I like plaice too so I’m sure it’s good with that as well. Good idea to bake it with the skin and bones. I bet it was delicious and succulent.
    Also a good idea to add mushrooms, I hadn’t thought of that.
    How about cooking the noodles in the mushroom soaking water?
    Another inspiring post, Conor!

    • Good idea on the mushroom water. To think I poured it down the sink! I have a fun post next week involving engineering of all things.

      • Are you sure you want to do a “fun” post? You know now what it might instigate 😉

  • Can’t understand people sometimes but if his words inspired this dish, I’m glad…it sounds great.

    • Thanks Karen. I think the post put him in his place, as it were.

  • I love the freshness and simplicity of this dish. It’s totally something I would make on a Friday night when I’ve got the house to myself and all I want to do is enjoy my own company and good good food. Can’t wait!

    • Simple and tasty. I am very glad you are going to try it.

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