P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc.'s 40-plus restaurant chain, operating in 19 states, owes much of its success to founder Paul Fleming's unique idea of pairing oriental cuisine with American-style service. At the outset, when he opened the first of the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fleming broke with the traditional Chinese restaurant format. With his collaborator, chef Philip Chiang, he devised a comparatively limited menu that featured far fewer dishes than the menus of typical, full-service, Chinese restaurants. Incorporating an American steak house dining style and a formidable selection of wines and cheeses, P.F. Chang's offers such additional oriental restaurant anomalies as espresso and cappuccino. Although P.F. Chang's China Bistros are stylish in decor, displaying motifs from the Ming and T'ang Dynasties and hand-painted murals, the dishes are moderately priced, partly because one of Fleming's aims was to provide high quality but affordable Chinese food for "the masses."
Oolong Marinated Sea Bass
OOLONG MARINATED SEA BASS
P.F. Chang's China Bistro Copycat Recipe
2 cups water
2/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon oolong tea
Two 1/2-pound sea bass fillets
1 tablespoon oil
6 handfuls fresh spinach
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic drained
1 (15.5 oz) can whole baby sweet corn (6 to 8 baby corns), drained
Make your sauce and marinade by combining the six ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool uncovered, then strain out the ginger, garlic, and tea. Put your sea bass fillets in a storage bag or a covered container with 2 cups of the marinade. Let the fish have a nice soak in the marinade for 5 to 7 hours in the fridge. If the sauce doesn't completely cover the fish, be sure to turn the fillets a couple hours in so that all sides get marinated.
When you are ready to prepare the fish, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the fillets on a baking sheet. Bake the fish for 22 minutes or until the edges of the fillets are starting to turn brown. Crank the oven up to a high broil and broil fish for 2 to 3 minutes or until you get some dark patches around the edge of the fillets. Just don’t let them burn.
As your fish is baking, heat up a wok or large skillet with one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the spinach, garlic, and baby sweet corn, and a dash of salt and pepper to the pan. Saute the veggies just until the spinach is wilted, then arrange half of the spinach and corn on each of two plates. When the sea bass is done broiling, use a spatula to carefully lay each fillet on the bed of spinach and baby corn. Split the remaining sauce and pour it over each of the fillets before serving.