Looking at my blog, I do not have many chinese recipes so far and I thought maybe I should share more of my chinese cooking experience. My friends here are always curious how do I prepare my Chinese dish at home so hopefully my foodblog will benefit to those who are interested to give a try at home. I also notice that more and more western countries people would like to eat more healthily and have increased acceptance in trying all kinds of asian food. Steaming is definitely one of the most healthiest cooking method.
Leaving abroad, it is not easy to access fresh fish from the market like I used to be able to in Hong Kong. In most Chinese opinion, to make steam fish you should always use the freshest ones, ideally directly from the fish market, frozen fish is not so ideal.
Some time ago, I went to a chinese restaurant in Basel and ordered steamed fish, to my surprise, the fish tasted fresh and amazingly good (of course you cannot compare with real seafood), I asked the owner which fish did they use and the answer is “frozen pangasius fish fillets”. I wondered how could that be possible so shortly after I bought a pack of pangasius fish fillet (approx 6 fillets per pack) from the Asian groceries shop here and tried out at home. Wow, I can really replicate the same. I am happy that when I was small, my dad always insisted me to help in the kitchen and over the years I have been able to pick up the practical skills from my mom.
Kitchen utensils required:
- Wok or steaming pan
- Steaming rack
- Clipper for steam dishes or heat proved glove
- 1 big round plate
- 2 Pangasius fish fillet*
- 1 sprig of spring onion
- Small piece of ginger cut into thin strips
- 4 tbsp Cooking oil
- 3 tbsp Soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Garlic Black bean sauce (optional)
*The advantages I found about using Pangasius fish for steaming are that these fillets do not smell fishy and you don’t need to worry about fish scales, bones and skin, etc. That makes the preparation part cleaner and more efficient : )
- Defrost the fish fillets and wash them briefly in cold running tap water.
- Use kitchen towels to absorb excess water from the fish fillets.
- Lie a small portion of the sliced ginger and spring onion on the plate, then place the fish fillets on them. The remaining ginger and spring onion can now be placed on top of the fish. If you like black bean and garlic sauce, you can add some on top at this time, otherwise just ginger and spring onion are already enough.
- Boil hot water, put the steaming rack in the wok and pour in the boiling water into the wok. Put the stove in high heat to keep the water boiling.
- Now you can carefully put the steam fish on the steam rack, cover the wok.
- Normally the time required for steaming depends on the size, weight and thickness of fish, for this portion, 10 mins should be enough. Depending the strength of your stove, you can turn down slightly the heat after the first 2-3 mins of steaming.
- When it is almost closed to 10 mins of steaming, you can heat up the cooking oil in a saucepan, make sure the oil is hot enough.
- When the fish is cooked, remove the plate from the wok or steam pan. You will find there is some liquid from steaming on the dish, discard the liquid. Then pour in the hot cooking oil very slowly on the fish as you will see the oil sizzling.
- Finally you can add the soy sauce to the fish and serve immediately with steamed ice.
I hope the recipe above is detailed enough for you to follow step-by-step.
After a few attempts and gaining some experience, you may want to move on and try other fish, e.g. sea bass, garouper, cod…
Enjoy and feel free to drop your feedback!