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Sesame Catfish with Pumpkin Fennel Ravioli

INGREDIENTS: 3 catfish fillets (about 1.5 lb.) 1 cup roasted green wheat ½ cup vegetable oil 2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel Dash pepper 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (optional) 30 dumpling wrappers 2 teaspoons starch 2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 cup Ying’s Korean BBQ Marinade ½ cup black sesame seeds 1/2 lb. Kabocha pumpkin ¼ cup coarsely chopped Fuji apple, peeled ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese ¼ cup water ¼ lb broccoli, separate into florets & blanched


1. Cut each catfish fillet into 2-inch wide pieces. Place fish pieces into a container and pour Korean BBQ Marinade over the fish. Allow it to marinate for 1 hour.

2. Grind the roasted green wheat in a food processor. Empty ground wheat on a cookie sheet and mix it with sesame seeds. Coat marinated fish in the sesame mixture.

3. Heat ¼ cup oil in a skillet or frying pan, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Pan fry fish in a single layer for 2-3 minutes each side. Repeat the same with the rest. Transfer cooked fish to a baking sheet and keep them warm in 200 degree oven.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel kabocha pumpkin and bake it on a baking dish covered for about 35 minutes. Mash it completely and let it cool. Transfer it to a mixing bowl, add chopped fennel, chopped apple, pepper, salt , Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Mix well.

5. To make ravioli, take 1 dumpling wrapper, place 1 tablespoon of pumpkin mixture in the center and wet the edge with water using a pastry brush. Top with another wrapper and press to seal.

6. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add ravioli and stir to avoid ravioli sticking on the bottom of the pot. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally. Return to rapid boil. Drain. Cook broccoli in the boiling water for 30 seconds, rinse in cold water. Drain.

7. For the sauce, place 3 tablespoons remaining Korean BBQ from fish in a sauce pan, add water and starch. Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat.

8. Place 3 ravioli and 2 pieces crispy fish on a serving plate. Drizzle sauce over fish and ravioli. Place broccoli on the plate and sprinkle green onions on top for garnish.

4-5 servings

Note: I was one of the judges for the Cook of the Week Challenge hosted by The Daily Herald, a Chicagoland newspaper. The judges were asked to come up with a dish using the same ingredients given to the contestants. This is the recipe I came up with.

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