One of our favourite dish from Chinese restaurants is steamed fish with soy sauce, ginger and spring onion using the live fish from the live fish tanks. But these days we make this Chinese-style steamed fish at home and it is so easy. The fish we get is not live but it is still very fresh and perfect for this dish. Steamed fish is so delicious and healthy with sweet and delicate flavours. Also the scalding of hot oil over the fish and aromatics to add to the beautiful flavours.
Chinese Steamed Fish with Ginger and Shallot
1 kg whole fish (snapper, barramundi or coral trout)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine (shaoxing cooking wine)
1.5 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
4 inch of ginger (peeled and cut into thin strips)
2 spring onion/scallion (cut into 10cm sections to use for stuffing inside fish)
2 spring onion/scallion (cut into 10cm sections and then thin threads for garnishing)
10 sprigs of coriander for garnishing
3 tablespoons cooking oil
ground white pepper
Ensure to really clean the fish again by removing scales, guts and gills (even after your fishmonger have cleaned them). Pat dry the fish.
On a chopping board, make three diagonal cuts on the meaty part of the fish, do this both sides.
On a plate (the one you will use to steam), rub the fish with some salt. Divide the strips of ginger into three parts. First part of ginger, put some in the slits and on top of the fish (do to both sides of the fish). Second part of ginger put inside the fish. Add spring onion and coriander in the inside of the fish.
In a small bowl, add soya sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and sugar and stir until sugar dissolved. Pour the mixture over the fish.
Bring a steamer to a boil. Put the plate of fish in the steamer and with closed lid and steam for about 8 – 10 minutes (depending on thickness of fish). Test the fish is cooked by inserting a chopstick into the thickest part of the flesh. If fish gently flakes apart and not translucent then it is cooked. If not then give it another 2 minutes and check again. Once cooked remove from heat and set aside.
In a small pot, heat up oil until smoking. Sprinkle remaining spring onion, ginger and pepper. Pour hot oil over the fish (be careful as it will spit). Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.
When selecting a fish ensure to pick a fish that fits into your steamer. I had to cut off a bit of the tail of my fish as it did not fit into the steamer.