When I was growing up, steamed fish was an everyday dish. The preparation is very basic for this recipe; just be sure to use fresh fish and clean and dry it thoroughly. You can change the recipe by using different seasonings, such as black beans or chili peppers, and garnishing with garlic, chopped cilantro, green onions, or shredded peppers. You can also increase the ginger for a stronger flavor. Serve with any stir-fry dish-vegetable, meat, or poultry.
Yield: Serves 4
2 tablespoons salted black beans
1½ pounds whole walleye or red snapper, well cleaned
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 green onions, with tops
In a small bowl, place the black beans and cover with warm water. Stir the beans for about 2 minutes to remove the excess salt. Remove the beans from the water, rinse, and drain well.
Slash the fish crosswise 3 times on each side. In a small bowl, mix the ginger, vegetable oil, black beans, garlic, salt, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil; rub the cavity and outside of the fish with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.
Cut the green onions into 2-inch pieces; shred lengthwise into fine strips. Place in a bowl with ice water to cover; let stand 10 minutes, or until the strips curl. Place the fish on a heatproof plate (see Notes). Place the plate on a rack in a steamer, cover, and steam over boiling water until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes. (Add boiling water if necessary.) Garnish with the green onions.
If you want to cook this dish in the microwave, cover the fish with plastic wrap on a microwave dish and cook for 3 minutes on high. Let stand for 2 minutes and rotate the dish. Cook an additional 2 minutes on high.