Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Pickled Chili Steamed Whole Fish 泡椒蒸鱼

What? Tilapia is also widely genetically modified?! Now that is a contradictory view to Monterey Bay Seafood Watch. Perhaps, that is why some consider tilapia a fish that is good for the environment but bad of us, consumers. In a good way, we don't always eat tilapia fish - whole or fillet. The only reason I buy tilapia, or specifically whole tilapia, is because it is one of the two (the other being sea bass) fresh "live" whole fish usually available in the Asian supermarket. Once in many months, we go for fresh whole tilapia to add an element of variety to the routine salmon and sardines.

After steaming

Steam - that is how I cook fresh whole fish. A fuss-free way of cooking, steaming brings out the delicate texture, and fresh clean flavors of a white-flesh fish like tilapia.

Today, it is about putting a new spin on quite an ordinary steamed whole fish. How about adding some finely minced tangy pickled chili for the appetizing zing, and fresh red chili for the spicy kick?

Seasoned and "assembled"..prepared to be steamed

Pickled and Fresh Chili Steamed Whole Tilapia 泡椒蒸吴郭鱼
Ingredients:
1 whole fresh tilapia fish (whole medium-size sea bass will work as well)
1tbsp cooking wine (Shaoxing cooking wine or Japanese sake)
1tsp light soy sauce to season/marinate the fish, 1tsp light soy sauce for [sauce-dressing]
1/2 sesame oil to season/marinate the fish, 1/2 tsp sesame oil for [sauce-dressing]
Pinch of ground white pepper and sea salt to season
6 thin slices of ginger, sliced to fine match-sticks
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 medium-size tomato
2-3 slices of fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 fresh Thai red chili, thinly sliced
1-2 tbsp finely chopped store-bought pickled green chili

[Sauce-Dressing]: Mix 1tsp light soy sauce 1/2 tsp sesame oil, set aside.

Directions: Cut 2-3 slits on one side of the fish and season the fish with cooking wine, light soy sauce, ground white pepper and sesame oil by gently rubbing the seasonings on the fish. Place the fish (slits side up) on plate and add tomatoes, mushrooms around the fish. Add the ginger, half the green onions, fresh and pickled chili on and around the fish. Steam on high-heat for 15 mins or more depending on size and thickness of fish. After fish is cooked, remove from steamer and lightly drizzle the sauce-dressing on the fish, garnish with remaining green onions. Serve immediately.

Steamed Whole Tilapia

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