This recipe requires a lot of trimming to make the long strips for braiding the fish, but the remaining fish can be used in another dish or a soup. This is a very impressive dish for guests with an interesting “twist.” For a simpler preparation, skip the braiding and steam as directed. Also, you can use just one kind of fish for this recipe, but it won’t be as visually interesting. Guests can take a little of each or select the fish they prefer.
Yield: Serves 4
1 skinless salmon fillet (about 2 pounds)
1 skinless halibut fillet (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger, divided
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup finely shredded green onions
Cut the salmon into 3 long ¾-inch-wide strips (save the trimmings for another use). Cut the halibut into 2 long ¾-inch-wide strips and also save the extra for another use. In a small bowl. Blend 2 teaspoons ginger, the salt, sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, the pepper, and garlic. Spread over the fish and marinate for ½ hour or longer, covered, in the refrigerator.
Sprinkle the cornstarch over the fish. Using 2 strips of salmon and 1 strip of halibut, braid into a straight, long braid. You will need to cut the third strip of salmon in half and use about half of the second halibut strip to continue the braid. Tuck the connecting edges in as best you can so it looks like a continuous braid. Place on a heatproof platter (see Notes) and cover with heavy plastic wrap for 10 minutes (or longer if refrigerated).
Place the plate of braided fish on a rack in a steamer. Cover and steam over boiling water until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat the remaining ¼ cup vegetable oil. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon ginger. When the ginger sizzles, pour the oil over the fish. Pour the soy sauce over the fish and garnish with the green onions.
If you can’t find halibut fillets, substitute orange roughy (you’d need 2 fillets, or about 1 to 1¼ pounds).
This recipe can also be cooked in the microwave. Place the braids on a plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Rotate the plate and microwave for an additional 3 minutes.