Steamed whole fish fish is a very popular dish in China and all over Southeast Asia. The Cantonese style of steaming fish is popular in this region as well. This traditional method of preparing fish preserves its natural flavor while also adding other flavors that complement it wonderfully.
This is a perfect dish for those who are trying to eat healthier, but don't want to sacrifice great tasting food. Steaming the fish adds no additional fat, making it an very healthy method of cooking. We'll only add a little bit of oil at the end.
Don't be put off by the fact that the fish still has its head! Cooking the fish whole adds huge amounts of wonderful flavor to the dish in the same way that meat cooked on the bone is more flavorful. If you absolutely cannot handle looking at the fish's head, go ahead and remove it. Trust me, just leave the head on! Without the head, it really isn't the same dish.
This delicious method of preparation is simple, yet elegant. Once you experience its wonderful, moist, flaky texture, and great flavor, you'll be sure to make it again!
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
- One whole fish, cleaned and scaled (preferably 2 lbs or less.)
- I used Porgy, but any fish will do. Sea Bass, Flounder, Tilapia, and Red Snapper work particularly well.
- 4 Stalks spring onions
- One 2" long knob of ginger
- A few leaves of cilantro
- 3-5 Tablespoons rice wine (substitute with dry sherry)
- 1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce or sweet soy sauce
- (use 2 teaspoons light soy sauce if these aren't available)
- 2 Tablespoons high-temperature cooking oil (such as peanut or canola)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (omit if using sweet soy sauce)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Chopped lemongrass
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- Thinly sliced fresh red chili
Step 2: Prepare The Fish
Pat it dry with a paper towel inside and out.