Steamed fish in Chinese cuisine is very common, in fact it is one of the favourites as when we eat at any Asian restaurants this will always be a common sight in almost every table and it is sometimes a centrepiece of their dinner table. This recipe is really quick and easy to prepare but it has its secrets to achieve the similar results you see served in Chinese restaurants where the meat is juicy and flavourful. Through the past experiences and observations on where we dined here are some things that I learned to achieve the same steamed fish you enjoy in these Chinese restaurants. First you really need to have a high temperature steam to cook the fish quickly as steaming it for prolonged time will make the meat tough and dry rather than juicy. Second the plate should be semi shallow which will act as the catch basin for all of the juices that comes from the steam. Finally, when the fish is ready to be served, a scoopful of boiling peanut and sesame oil mixture is poured into the top of the fish.
2 medium sized fish (snapper, trevally, etc.)
4 stalks spring onions, thinly sliced
1 thumb sized ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp brown sugar
3 tbsp peanut oil
1. In a bowl combine spring onions, ginger, garlic cloves, chilli, light soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, 1 tbsp of sesame oil and brown sugar.
2. Pat dry the fish with paper towel inside and out then using a knife to cut 3 slashes on each side of the fish.
3. Place 1/3 of the mixture in a plate then place fish on top, place the 1/3 in the fish cavity and finally the 1/3 on the top.
4. Place plate in a large bamboo steamer or if you don’t have any large steamer that will accommodate the plate.
4. Now add enough water to the wok then bring to the boil in high heat. Place the bamboo steamer over the wok then steam covered for 10 minutes or until the fish is nearly cooked, do not overcook, the cooking process will not end once you stop the heat as there is enough heat left on the fish meat to cook the remaining.
5. While the fish is steaming heat the peanut oil together with the remaining sesame oil in a saucepan, heat until it nearly reaches its smoking point. Drizzle hot oil over the fish then serve immediately.