With Chinese New Year around the corner, having a steamed whole fish is a tradition and a must-have in most Chinese households as it symbolises prosperity, good fortune and unity.
Meanings aside, there’s also many nutritional value to eating fish! It’s a great source of protein, loaded with Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids which is beneficial for the body and brain.
So, don’t forget to include this recipe in when you are preparing for your reunion dinner 🙂
- 550 grams (20 ounces) head-on sea bass, scaled & gutted
- 1 and 1/2 pieces thumb sized ginger , 1 thumb sliced whole, 1/2 thumb sliced into strips
- 1 cup green onion, chopped into 6cm /2.5inches in length
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil/vegetable oil
- 2 dried chili peppers
- 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
- 2 tablespoons seasoned soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
*You can choose to cook other types of fish (e.g. tilapia, flounder) and reduce the amount of ginger and green onions to suit your taste buds.
- Wash the fish thoroughly and drain. Pat dry the fish with a paper towel.
- Place a quarter of the green onions on a plate large enough to hold the entire fish. The green onions will hold the fish, so it will not stick to the plate when cooked.
- Stuff ginger slices (put aside some for decoration later!) and a quarter of the green onions (white part) into the cavity of the fish.
- Rub both sides of the fish with sesame oil. Cover the fish with another quarter of the green onions. Pour Shaoxing wine over the fish.
- In a large, deep skillet (or steamer or wok), add half an inch of water and place a steaming basket upside down (or heat resistant colander or strainer) in the middle. Cover and bring water to a boil over high heat.
- Place the dish onto the steaming basket, cover and steam over high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until you can easily pull the flesh from the bone with a fork. Turn off heat immediately.
- Transfer the fish to another large plate. Remove the ginger and green onion from inside and above the fish and discard it.
- Spread the remaining fresh ginger strips and green onions on top of the fish and set aside.
- In a wok or small skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Break chilli peppers and add them with the Sichuan peppercorns.
- Stir until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Turn to lowest heat, use a ladle to scoop out the chili pepper and peppercorn and discard them. Then drizzle the hot oil over the fish. It should sizzle when the oil touches the fish.
- Immediately pour the seasoned soy sauce onto the fish.
- Serve it warm. The fish will not hold sauce very well, so make sure you dip the fish meat into the sauce from the plate when eating! If the fish is not salty enough, you can add more seasoned soy sauce as you eat.