Steamed Fish with Spring Onions and Ginger
The Chinese rightly claim that the best possible way of cooking very fresh, delicately flavor fish is to steam it with the simplest of seasoning, although some Southeast Asian cooks often add diced bean curd and a few sour salted plums. The final addiction of sizzling hot peanut oil in this recipe from Singapore's Ritz Carlton may seem strange, but it gives a lovely flavor.
- 1 whole fish (2-2½ lb), preferably grouper or sea bass, scaled and gutted
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 spring onions, cut into ¾-inch lengths
- 2½-inch knob ginger, very finely shredded
- 2 Tbsp Chinese rice wine, preferably my favorite Shao Hsing
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- White pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Sprigs of coriander leaves for garnish
- Rinse fish with cold water, dry with a towel, sprinkle the fish inside and out with the salt, rubbing it in.
- Scatter half of the spring onions and half the ginger on a heatproof plate, then place the fish on top. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the green portion of the spring onions and scatter the remainder, together with the remaining ginger, over the top of the fish. Pour over the rice wine, chicken stock and vinegar, then sprinkle with pepper.
- Put the plate on the rack set above rapidly boiling water in a wok or similar cooking dish. Cover the wok and steam the fish until done, about 15 minutes. Test with the top of a sharp knife to ensure fish is white right through. Remove from the wok.
- Heat the peanut or vegetable oil in a saut? skilled until smoking hot and then pour over the top of the fish. Garnished with reserved spring onions and coriander leaves, then serve immediately.