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How to Add a Hint of Licorice to a Fish Dish

 I want to impress this girl I asked to come over for dinner and I want to make a good fish dish, say, sea bass or halibut. She loves licorice. Can you recommend a dish that combines fish and licorice – "anise?" I MUST impress her on this Valentine's Day. :@)

 This is totally off the subject, but did you know that the licorice flavor is not any combination of the five so-called tastes that everyone says we can identify – sweet, sour, bitter, salt, and umami? Food researcher Hervé This uses licorice as a prime example in his argument that there are many, many more tastes than five.

There are recipes that blend the licoricy flavor of anise, fennel, Pernod, Ricard, or Sambuca, but they are almost always used with a fairly assertive protein – lamb, beef, salmon, mussels, etc. The exception seem to be the milder scallops, for which there are also various licoricey recipes.

We searched through more than 20,000 recipes and didn't find a single one pairing a licorice-flavored ingredient with a mild fish like sea bass or halibut. So, you do you feel about salmon? This recipe for Oven Braised Salmon with Fennel has not only the fennel, but a little Pernod, so the licorice flavor should sing out. If you use this recipe, we would recommend (this once) the less assertive farm-raised salmon or Atlantic salmon. You can make it with a milder fish, if you like, but the flavors might not balance as well.

And with a smiley face like that, how could you not impress this woman???

Suggested Recipe: Oven Braised Salmon with Fennel

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