Here is a simple recipe my friend and fellow Chef Joko Winarto shared with me. His very skilled at steaming fish but I am kind of knew to it. That being said, this has a pretty straight forward process and it lets me use my Wok and bamboo steamer, so yeah!
This is a Cantonese style dish, which usually means its a little lighter than Mandarin style. It usually also balances between sweet, sour, and spicy, so you will notice the ingredient list includes sugar, ginger and spices. Fish is a delicate dish to steam, too little and it’s undercooked with a sashimi texture and too much it gets rubbery.
Keep in mind when steaming at altitude that water boils (steams) at a lower temperature. At my elevation (6,700 ft), water boils 10 deg. C. cooler than sea level, which means that steaming times have to be increased.
- 1 medium sized fish fillet – walleye is best, but flounder or fluke okay
- 2 TBL oil – with high smoke point, like canola
- 2 scallions
- 2 TBL ginger (julienned)
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 1.5 TBL Soy sauce (or seasoned soy sauce)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp sugar
- 2 TBL water
- Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients before starting.
- Julienne the scallions and ginger and set aside. FYI, julienne means cut into thin strips.
- Chop cilantro into a medium size dices. Keep in mind that the stems are more powerful than the leaves but the leaves look better at plating.
- Mix soy sauce, salt, sugar and water into a small bowl.
- If you have two Woks, set one up for steaming the fish and the other for preparing the sauce. If you only have one Wok, steam the fish first.
- Steam Fish
- Fill your wok or saucepan with about an inch of water, cover and bring it to a boil. Carefully place fillet on the steamer. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes. To check for doneness, if a butter knife cuts through to the bottom of the rack, your fish is done.
- Plate fillet:
- Transfer fish from steamer to your serving plate.
- Spread the cilantro and about one third of the scallions (green portions), directly onto the steamed fish
- Make Sauce
- Heat your second Wok (or a small saucepan) to medium-high heat and add 2 TBL of canola oil.
- Add the ginger and let it brown lightly, about a minute.
- Add remaining scallions.
- Add the soy sauce mixture to the saucepan.
- Cook until scallions are wilted ~30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and spoon entire mixture over the fish.
Serve with rice. Using black rice makes a nice plating, but you also can’t go wrong with Basmati rice, or my favorite, jasmine rice.