Twins Fish High, Low and In Between
Menu: Alderaan Sashimi | Fried Fish Nuggets | Fish Tacos
Luke and Leia were both orphaned; both knew they'd been adopted, and both had lost their adoptive parents through acts of war. They were overjoyed to learn that they were not actually alone in the galaxy; they were brother and sister, the children of Darth Vader.
But they were not similar in any way, especially in their food preferences. When presented with a large, beautiful seafish by Admiral Akbar after the Battle of Endor, they were both excited. For Luke, fish was a real rarity, having grown up poor on desert Tatooine. Since joining the Alliance, he'd discovered he liked it, especially fried and served with a creamy, piquant sauce. Leia, though she was raised among the aristocracy of Alderaan also considered seafish to be a luxurious rarity; her home planet of Alderaan was mountainous with much of the open water being fresh ponds. Small salt oceans did have fish in them, of course, but because these ecosystems were rare, getting saltwater fish was a special treat, even for the Organa family.
Within human cultures, generally the more sophisticated and luxurious, the less the food is cooked. Thus, Luke liked his meats well-done and Leia preferred it rare or medium-rare; out of habit, Luke wanted his fish cooked very, very well, whereas Leia preferred it raw, "The better to appreciate the subtle flavors," she pointed out. They argued over how the fish should be prepared, but in the end, Han Solo advised Luke to give in. "You'll never win against a strong woman, kid," he advised, then added with a grin, "and trust me, the strong ones are the only ones worth fighting for!"
So Leia was able to have her way. She was no cook, but with the help of her former aide Winter, she was able to procure the sauces and other ingredients to make a fairly authentic duplication of the luxurious meals she'd shared with her father, Bail Organa. In fact, it was one of the last things she shared with him before she left on her mission to retrieve General Kenobi, all those years ago. She presented it in a private dinner for Luke and Han (Chewbacca demurred, wanting to eat a large gornt instead, though he did agree that food tastes better raw)! Luke had to admit that it was tasty; a bit subtle for his unsophisticated tongue, but it wasn't slimy or weird, as he'd feared. He thought he could grow to like it, after all.
Luke was also intrigued that because of the rice and side accompaniments served with it, a little bit of fish went a really long way, and after eating their fill, there was a lot of sliced fish left over. He asked Leia what she was going to do with the leftovers, and she sadly said that this dish could only be eaten within 40 hours of when the fish was caught and cut. Otherwise, it could be dangerous to eat; that's why it was a big special party dish best to have a lot of people to eat and appreciate the freshest way to serve fish, since it didn't keep.
In a shallow bowl or non-reactive pan, place the fillets in a single layer. Pour out enough rice wine vinegar to cover. It it important to use rice wine vinegar and nother another type it's lower in acidity and won't "cook" the fish like other vinegars will. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.
Drain the fish and pat it dry. Using a long, sharp, thin bladed knife, cut the fish on a bias across the fillet. Fan out or stack on a serving platter.
Take a piece of the nori, and put a bit of rice on it not tons, just a thin covering on your rice. Dip your sashimi fish slice in the dipping sauce you made and place on top of the rice. Fold or roll up the rice, and eat.
If desired, you can serve an assortment of Japanese pickles, too, like takuan pickles, shredded (Japanese long turnip or daikon pickles) sliced, or rakyo (Japanese sweet pickled scallions).
The next morning, Luke took the leftover slices of fish (kept wrapped and cold in the chiller overnight!) and fried them in a manner Han had shown him; Han in turn had learned it from an enslaved wookiee female he knew long before he'd met Chewbacca. Having left Tatooine long ago, Luke had managed to try many other things, and had learned to appreciate fish that was not "burned hard to kill the bugs" but was instead barely cooked through. He had sliced up some sweetish pickles vegetables from the night before and was going to make a mayonnaise-based relish, but couldn't find the other ingredients he needed, so he served up the pickle bits as they were.
He also intended to heat up the rice from the night before to serve with it, but found that someone had eaten all the leftover starch while they slept probably Chewbacca, who came back later from his own feasting, wanting something to balance all the meat he'd eaten. So Luke served what he had very simply, as it was. To Luke's surprise and relief, Leia thought the fried fish was really good, "I really like how cooking brings out the nice flavor of the fish. You know, come to think of it, I've never had seafish cooked! It's good!"
Though Luke did enjoy the raw fish and Leia enjoyed the cooked, there really was a lot of fish and one could grow tired of eating it just like that. In addition, Leia was concerned that even with the Emperor dead, they needed to keep alert and strong, and a diet of just fish might not be so good for them. Luke rummaged around and found some round flatbreads and some fresh, cold cabbage. He remembered Han describing a sort of rolled sandwich he would eat on the run, lined with a crunchy cabbage leaf rather than lettuce (crispier that way), served with hot sauce.
It gave Luke an idea of what to do with the fried fish nugget leftovers and he excitedly told Leia about his "fish taco" concept. Her eyes lit up and she said she knew where to get some of the hot sauce, and she pilfered a bottle from Han's personal stash aboard the Falcon. She also found a creamy ranch dressing her own preference, for it's mild sweetness and tastiness. Leia also decided the cabbage should be sliced thinly or shredded, to be easier to eat and a more interesting texture. So, combining all these things, Luke and Leia created this cooked-fish wrapped-sandwich for supper that night. Both Skywalker twins agreed it was excellent, and they joked about this being their first combined, conscious, tangible contribution to the galaxy!
Lay a warm tortilla on a plate, browned side down. Layer on the fish, cabbage, pickles, and dressings to taste. Fold or roll up and eat. Allow 2 to 4 per person for dinner.
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