Current Progress

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Steamed Fresh Stripped Bass with Soy, Ginger

Tonight was my turn to host again so I decided to experiment with steaming. When I think of steaming, two favourites come to mind - Dumplings and Fish. Since dumplings are out of the question, I turned my attention on Google and YouTube on how to make my single most favourite chinese dish at weddings - Steamed Fish with Soy, Ginger and Green Onion.

I had never bought a whole fish nor ginger. After learning about how easy it was to change my Wok into a steamer (Just buy a dish that can wedge into the Wok and a lid for the wok. Pour some pre-boiled hot water into the bottom of the Wok and close the lid. Voila).

I also learned (thanks to Youtube) how easy it was to de-skin and cut ginger. Just use a spoon and scrape off the skin. You can now cut it into rectangles, then again into little strips.

I asked Ranch 99 to descale and clean out the swimming fish for me. I found that 2.5 lbs was a large meaty fish good enough for 4 people.

For the sauce, mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt, pepper and sugar together. Add minced garlic and ginger.

I gave the fish a good cleaning in salt water. Then proceeded to marinate it with the above sauce, I cut 3 slits on each side of the fish to further add flavour. Then I left it to marinate for 7 hours before coming back from work. (It was probably overkill but too much flavour has never hurt. Oh, I also put the julienne pieces of green onion and ginger all over the fish.

Coming home from work and about 10 minutes before my guests arrived, I started up the wok and it happily steamed away for about 10-15 minutes before I took it out. I had thought the fish was ready. Using a fork, you can easily break apart the fish meat. However, I was wrong - we found that the outside layer was good but the inside meat was still raw. I had to put it in for round 2 for another 5-7 minutes. I guess 20 minutes would have been a good duration.

After taking it out of the wok, I added more ginger and green onion as well as sauce. The fish was so tender and flavourful - actually way less oily or greasy than I've remembered it at chinese restaurants. Actually aside from a few drops of the sesame oil, there's no reason for my fish to be oily.

I think the dish was well received - and I rather enjoyed it. Im going to talk about the side dish - Spinach and Shitake Mushrooms on a separate post.

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