Sunday, August 30, 2009

Home Cooking Recipe Series: Steamed Fish with Ginger & Scallions

Steamed whole fish with ginger & scallions is a staple Cantonese dish for practically every Chinese family at the dinner table. It is favored for its mild yet flavorful taste, ease of preparation and as a healthy meal choice. This dish gets its influence from Guangdong, where fresh live seafood is a specialty. Guangdong is located on the southern coastline of China.

The freshness of the fish used is extremely important in this dish to enable the mild ingredients to bring out the natural sweetness of the fish. This is why, in order to maintain the quality of their steamed fish dishes, some of the best seafood Chinese restaurants have special marine tanks on their premises.

Steamed Fish with Ginger & Scallions

1 whole tilapia or white fleshed fish of your choice, approx 1.5 to 2 lbs, gutted and cleaned
2 stalks of scallion, shredded lengthwise
5 slices of ginger, shredded
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced or diced
1 1/2 tablespoons of rice wine
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 or 1 teaspoon of rock sugar
1/4 teaspoon of pepper, preferably white
A few sprigs of parsley

Part 1
1. Make three one and half inch incisions on both sides of the fish. Pour the rice wine over and inside the fish.
2. Take half the amount of shredded ginger, scallions, bell pepper and parsley, stuff inside the fish.
3. In a steamer, steam fish on medium heat for about 15-17 minutes. Check to see if the fish is done. If not, steam for another 2-3 minutes. Make sure there is still enough water for steaming.
4. Remove the fish from steamer and discard the ingredients that were steamed with the fish.
5. Place fish on serving platter.

Part 2
1. About 3-4 minutes before the steaming fish is ready, heat about 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a pan or wok. Add the rock sugar to the oil and allow it to dissolve as the oil heats.
2. Add the soy sauce and the remainder of the ginger and scallions to the oil.
3. Fry the ingredients together for about 15 seconds. This will enable the ingredients to "release" its flavors.
4. Pour the contents of the pan/wok onto the fish on the platter.
5. Garnish with the remaining bell peppers and parsley, then serve!