Knowing how much importance steamed fish carries, what should we do to ensure it’s cooked properly? We talked to chef Lung Fie Hung, Chinese executive chef of the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, about his secrets in making an enticing plate of steamed fish.
A live fish should have a shiny body with sharp colors and be animated in terms of eye expression and movement. Don’t choose the ones with damages on the body or fins, as it’s the sign for pressure, fight or sickness, all of which affect the quality of the meat.
Usually wild fish look lighter with a tad of pale yellow. Touch the piece of fish meat lightly to test its freshness; see if it bounces back when pressed.
If you have an oversized fish that can ’t fit into the wok, consider chopping it up and steam it plain or with soy sauce. I once got brought a fish home weighing six patties, and we prepared it several ways.
But considering many modern home kitchens are small and under-equipped, and it’s nearly impossible to find seawater to keep the fish alive, I’d rather ask the fishmonger to help. If it gets killed at an overexcited state, its flesh would tense up and decrease the overall quality.
Score the back and the belly of the fish, and pierce some holes on its body. Traditional method: steam with sliced shiitake mushrooms, meat, dried mandarin peel and ginger.
The refreshing citrus notes help eliminate the muddy tastes in the fish. The chopsticks and spring onion under the fish are the key for steam circulation.
Putting chopsticks and spring onions under the fish helps achieve this goal. Chicken oil gives the fish a smooth texture and lavish fragrance.
The flesh at the core sticking to the bones was a sign of precise cookery. If you realize the fish isn’t steamed enough when it is served on the table, the only solution is to reheat it.
Such a situation is less than ideal, because this would unavoidably weaken the original flavor and sweetness of the fish. Take the juice left by the steamed fish and add 1.5 parts of soy sauce and a bit of sugar.
Heat it up and pour the sauce over the fish covered with spring onions. This homemade blend beats your store-bought seafood soy sauce any day of the week.
This article was written by Clarence Chan and translated by Vincent Lung. Coral Trout (AKA Red Spotted Grouper) is a beautiful fish, the flesh is pure white and has a sweet delicate flavor.
Sprinkle with ginger and garlic Place steamer over a large wok or tightly fitting saucepan of simmering water. Steam fish 10-12 minutes, until just opaque and flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Make the sauce from combining Soy, Sugar and Sesame Oil in a bowl In a small frying pan, heat peanut oil until very hot (smoking). I got this really fresh red grouper from Chinatown wet market.
Do take note that the price for Regrouped and Greasy Grouper (Grayish color) is different. Regrouped price may vary depends on season.
This recipe won't look any special, but if you've got really fresh fish from the market and wanted to consume it on the same day, this is the best and simple way to cook your fish. It is ordinary steamed fish with soy sauce and shallot oil.
On a steaming dish, place the 6-inch length spring onion, followed by 3 slices of ginger. Remove fish from the steamer, pour away the steaming liquid.
So, rub some salt on it would get rid of fishy smell, and gives better flavor. The amount of soda sauce won't give enough saltiness to the dish in overall.
Adding spring onion and ginger underneath is to provide ventilation to the underside of the fish and also gives better flavor to the dish in overall. When I put ginger and spring onion underneath, when I pour the sauce over, the sauce also hiding underneath.
Because fresh cod fish has it's inexplicable sweetness, even the excessive liquid gives you wonderful flavor. You have to ensure rock sugar is finely crushed before using.
But of course, if you go around and ask fellow Chinese chefs, they will tell you rock sugar really taste different with the fish. Do adjust your own steaming time based on the fish size.
If your fish is cold (just out of the fridge), add another minute for steaming. But with the price of Cod fish, I don't always get to enjoy such luxury.