The Chinese love steamed fish, especially steamed whole fish with its head and tail intact. I love steamed fish in its full body glory, but sometimes I find it a hassle to serve at home. First of all, it’s not easy to find a live or fresh enough fish for steaming. Secondly, for a truly awesome Cantonese-style steamed fish, only certain fish are suitable—for example: rock cod and grouper, which are hard to find even though I live close to many Asian markets.
As a result, I started making steamed fish using fillet, which works exceedingly well and I can have it as often as I want. I like using red snapper, cod, or sea bass fillet for this dish. If you can’t find these fish at your market, you can try the recipe with a mild-flavor fish such as flounder or sole.
Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal
- 11/2 lbs (750 g) fish fillet, about 1 in (2.5 cm) thick
- One 2 in (5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin pieces
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 recipe Cantonese-style Steamed fish Sauce
- 1 green onion (scallion), trimmed and cut into thin threads, to garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), to garnish
- Arrange the fish fillet in a deep serving plate. (Depending on the fish you get, you might cut the fish fillet into a couple of equal-size pieces.) Add the ginger, rice wine or sherry, and sesame oil on top of the fish. Steam the fish for 5 minutes or until cooked.
- Discard the ginger and completely remove the cloudy liquid seeping out from the fish.
- Garnish the fish with green onion and coriander leaves. Pour the Cantonese-style Steamed Fish Sauce onto the fish and serve immediately with steamed rice.
COOK’S NOTE: I like mild-flavored fish such as red snapper, cod, or sea bass for this recipe.
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