If you are Chinese or if you have been to any banquet-style Chinese dinners, you probably have seen this dish: a fish sitting on a plate, under some green stuff, over some soy sauce & oil, & it still had its head, tail, fins, & skin all in tact. This was - & still is - one of my favorite ways of eating fish. When I was a kid, my dad would scrape off the skin & portion out a perfect filet along the "back" half of the fish & put it in my bowl. I would also always get both of the cheeks...@ least I would when we were eating @ home. Now that I have moved out on my own, the opportunity to have steamed fish is rare. And even though it is a pretty easy dish to make, I couldn't possibly finish a whole fish by myself...ourselves. There has got to be a different way, right?
I was getting ready to make dinner one night - pan-seared Hake filets with salt & pepper - when it came to me. Why not steam the filets as if it was a whole fish? I mean, filet is just fish minus the bones & stuff. With the sudden inspiration & a really strong craving for steamed fish, I went to work.
It only takes a few essential ingredients from the fridge/cupboard...
6 ounces Hake filet (or any other meaty white fish)
3 tablespoons green onion, cut finely on the bias
3 tablespoons ginger, cut into thin strips
0.25 cup low sodium soy sauce
0.5 tablespoon sugar
0.25 cup canola oil
It's practically set it & forget it...
Remove as much moisture from the fish filets as possible
Place the filets into a heat-proof dish & sprinkle the green onion & ginger evenly over the top
Steam the filets for 7 minutes or until the meat flakes apart easily
Heat the soy sauce & dissolve the sugar in it
Heat the canola oil in a pan for about 2 minutes
Once the fish is done, carefully drain the liquid from the dish
Pour the hot oil and then the soy sauce over the fish
Makes 3 servings
The end result was a little bit overcooked (I did 10 minutes) but the flavor was just as I remember it. I put sugar in the soy sauce was because (1) that's how my Mama does it & (2) it cuts down the sourness that soy sauce can have after it has been heated. I know most people also put cilantro on the fish but I didn't have any & I absolutely detest cilantro (unless it's in something); but in all honesty, I didn't think it made the dish "worse off". When drizzling the hot oil over the fish, it is going to create some sizzle but that's totally normal; just stay away from the splatter. A little insider's tip: take some of the green onion, ginger, & a few big spoonfuls of the sauce & mix it thoroughly into a bowl of rice; that in itself is a whole other meal.