Chef Rich's Shallot Crusted Grouper

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Ingredients for the crusted grouper and crab fried rice:

1 lb fresh grouper (2 8oz pieces)

2 TB seasoned flour (I use paprika, salt, pepper)

2 medium shallots (sliced thin)

3 TB olive oil

4 oz lump crab meat, cooked (canned is fine, but fresh and local blue or stone crab is best)

2 stalks green onion, fine chopped

2 TB andouille sausage

1 egg, scrambled

Ingredients for the Spicy Ponzu:

4 TB mirin

2 TB soy sauce

2 tsp orange juice

2 tsp lemon juice

1 TB cornstarch and water slurry (roughly equal parts of cornstarch and cold water, whisked)

2 tsp sriracha

First, let's make the spicy ponzu sauce. In a small sauce pot, add the mirin, soy sauce, orange juice, lemon juice and bring to a boil. Then add the cornstarch slurry – whisk in slowly until it slightly thickens (should lightly coat the back of a spoon). Lastly, whisk in sriracha and remove from heat.

First, boil the jasmine rice in water until cooked through (or slightly dente) and cool. Second, scramble one egg and put to the side. Heat up a skillet with 2 TB of olive oil (save the other TB of oil for the fried rice). While the skillet is heating, season the grouper filets with salt and pepper and place the thinly sliced shallots on top of the filets. Add the seasoned flour evenly atop the shallots and lightly press down. Then, carefully place the filets shallot-side down in the hot skillet and cook until a golden crust is acquired. Finish in the oven, shallot-side up, in a 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until its cooked through (still moist in the middle but not translucent).

While fish is baking, heat up another skillet with the other TB of olive oil. Then add the andouille and lump crab meat and sizzle for a few seconds before adding the cooked rice and the spicy ponzu sauce. Simmer and stir for a minute or two until it starts bubbling, then add the scrambled egg and chopped green onion. After another 30 seconds, kill the heat. Place the fried rice on two plates with the grouper on top. Drizzle any extra sauce around the outside of the rice and garnish with cilantro sprigs or green onion. Enjoy it while it's hot!