Steamed tilapia, sweet peas and sweetcorn on white rice, topped with star anise white sauce

It is not as fancy as it sounds. This is actualy a plain and simple ensemble. It also doesn’t take much time to prepare.

sweet corn

I already had some boiled sweet corn in the fridge so I just took some off the cob. Then cooked the peas in some boiling water with salt to taste and set aside.  

peas cooking
set aside

Sliced two onions and fried them in a little bit of oil till they softened, then added the peas and corn with black pepper and salt to taste. Gave it about two minutes on the fire and it was done.

onions ready
stir, let cook for a few minutes

I do not own a steamer, so what I do is cook stuff covered on very low fire. It just steams on it’s own moisture. That’s what I did to the fish.

salt, pepper, olive oil

Before putting the fillets in the pan I sprinkled salt and pepper on them, then olive oil. I spread the olive oil with my fingers to make sure they were well coated. Put them in the pan and covered.

in the pan
steaming

While the fish was cooking I started on the white sauce.

I have to say I have been looking for an excuse to use the star anise since I bought them over a month ago (^_^) They look and smell great! But I have no idea what their flavor is like cause I’ve never used them. Some websites say it’s licorice like. I figured if I put them in the white sauce I would at least find out what their flavor is.

star anise pods

Not knowing how strong they are I decided to start with two.

in the pot

Put then in a small pot and turned on the heat. I let the pot get hot first then I continued to make the white sauce as usual:

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
milk

Used a whisk to mix the butter and flour, switch to low heat and let it cook for 2 minutes while stiring.

add the butter
add the flour
mix it well, even a spoon will do

Then take it off the fire and add milk while whisking. How much milk? Add until you have the thickness that you like. I think I used about 300ml

add milk while whisking or stir vigorously with a spoon

Put it back on the fire, turn up the heat and continue whisking. You’ll notice that it thickens again when it heats up, if it gets too think you can still add more milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it bubble for about a minute and it’s done!

then top with the sauce
served!

Husband Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
Rice and peas were tasty
Fish needed more salt

It’s not the most exciting looking meal, especially because the fish was steamed. But it was tasty, I enjoyed it. I was stingy on the salt though. I’m not very good at gaging how much salt to put in fish, so I often put too little, I think that’s better than too much. You can always add more but you can’t take out.

The white sauce was great! I liked the star anise touch a lot. The flavour would be very nice in something slow roasted in the oven, like lamb. The aroma is licorice like but not very strong. Definitely using them again!

 

About aika

Making, eating and sharing good food are a splendid way to start, brake and end a day! I post good eats on www.pendolamama.co.ke. Life is a feast, eat up!

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