Monday, July 19, 2010

Steam Fish Recipe

One of the best thing in HK is to getting fresh fish from the wet market and steam the bugger yourself.

I love eating fish esp steam ones. "Deep fried Fish-and-minus-the-chip" is ok, but my first choice but if done well with a thin layer of beer-battered crispy coating wrapping round a chucky piece of juicy succulent fish, oh hell yeah I will take that! The last time I had a really memorable fish and chip was when I was "backpacking" through The Great Ocean Road in Melb 10 years ago. There was this unassuming little small shop at one of the pitstop, and my god! Till this day, I never forgot that 2 big piece of battered fried fish chunk! The piping hot steam rising from the fish steak, the mouth watering juicy first bite, the flavour rolling inside my mouth...everything still vividly etched in my head. Great simple food invokes the same sort of feeling as any michelin star chef meal.

Zooming back to present. Gonna share a simple steam fish receipe if u are sick of eating dead chill fish and want a change in scenery.

1. A live fish. For 2 people, get either 10 or 12 "leung" weight.
Depending on the type of fish you get, it should cost between $100 -180
Sometimes in non peak, you can get away for $90 for a 10 "leung" weight

2. Scallions/ Spring onion

3. Ripe red tomatoes (1-2)

4. Fresh Ginger (portion: est thumbs length)

5. Pepper, Light Soy sauce, (Sea) Salt, Cooking oil, white grandulated Sugar.

The only thing else u need is a good wok/ steamer and a small pot for mixing the sauce.

1. Wash the fish thoroughly and use the back of your knife to run thru the fish to check its properly/ completely descaled. Meanwhile, heat the wok 3/4 filled with water.
(I asked my mum why we need so much water, she explain sufficient water gives it a more consistent steam to cook the fish thoroughly)

2. Dry fish with paper towel and place in steaming plate (best are those metal ones. Avail in Japan home store. The thin porcelin plates are ok but any thicker will ruin your timing)

3. Rub a pinch of salt on both side of the fish. Slice the ginger into 2 slices, place it under the fish.
Stick another slice inside the fish where it was slit open.

4. Take the scallion and chop off the green parts, and stick 2-3 stalk of the white end at the base under the fish as well. The idea is for the fish to "absorb" the flavour of ginger and scallion when it is cooking. Also takes about the fishy smell.

5. Rinse and cut the tomato into quarters. Size if up to you but not too small coz they shrink after steaming.
I love tomato so I would use 2 whole tomator and line it round the fish. I dont care for looks, I go for food! :P

6. Optional: Sprinkle some sugar over the surface of the cut tomatoes. Can omit this.

7. When the water is boiling, stick the fish and the contents onto the stand into the wok.
Cover. (You should need to cook this for about 9-10mins, depending on your fish size and the plate you are using. For me, I normally cook it till 9mins, take a look, and off the flame and cover for another min in residual heat.)

8. While your fish is cooking in that time, get busy with the sauce.
Deskin and Slice ginger into thin narrow strips. The portion is really up to you. I will go for about 1 tablespoon.

9. Take more scallions/ spring onion stalks and chop them into 3-4 segments. Then slice them into narrow strips as well. The finer the better. I personally love eating the end stalk/ the white section more than the green part,. But a mixture is good.

10. Take a small bowl, pour out about 3-4tablespoon of soysauce. The portion is up to you. If you like stronger flavour, you can have more. Then add similar portion of water. Then add about 2 teasppon of sugar to taste. As you stir well, you can just dip your finger and mix till you like the taste, where the sugar takes away the edge of the saltiness of the soy. If the sugar doesnt seem to dissolve, add more water.
The sauce shouldnt be too sweet. And remember, the sauce shouldnt be too dilute since the end steam product will already have natural juice from the fish and tomato.

11. Towards the last 2 mins before your fish is cooked, heat up the small sauce pot. Pour in 2 tablespoon of cooking oil and heat. (I use to use olive oil but its too dense. Mum recommended the KNIFE brand oil, a lighter oil that is specially for cooking fish. You will see a fish on the label picture.).

12. When hot is oil, throw in the ginger slices to cook till golden brown. You shouldnt cook your ginger too early else it will turn soggy. The idea is to catch the timing where it turn browns jsut as the fish is cook. So which is why i recommend to start last 2-3 mins before the fish is due to cook.

12. When the fish is done, turn off flame and sprinkle the sliced scallions/spring onion onto the top of the fish.SCope the browned ginger slices onto the fish as well.

13. With the remaining oil, pour in the soysauce mix. Caution, water and oil will result in splashing for the first few seconds. Quickly pour the whole mix and drizzle over the fish from head to tail, ensuring you cover the scallions. Dash some white ground pepper and you are done! 

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