Fish is commonly prepared whole in a lot of Chinese seafood dishes. The striking appearance, along with the flavors of the different parts of the fish, is a delicate, but impressionable, way to prepare whole fish. While this dish looks complicated, preparation is so easy and simple, and always satisfying!
- refined sugar-free
- Yield: 2 servings
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1 whole fish, about 1lb (453g)*
- 3 stalks scallions
- nub of ginger, roughly half the size of your palm
- soy sauce
- a handful of cilantro stalks
- cooking oil with high-smoke point (I used avocado oil)
- 1 pack firm tofu, drained and cubed (optional)
- Julienne the ginger and scallions.
- Place the fish in a steam-proof pan.
- Top the fish with the ginger and scallions, and stuff some into the cavity.
- Optional: add cubed tofu in the pan, around the fish.
- Douse the fish and tofu with soy sauce.
- Steam the fish for 8 minutes.**
- Remove fish from steam, and top with cilantro.
- Heat oil until it begins to shimmer.
- Pour the hot oil over the fish to finish.
- Serve immediately with rice.***
- I look for black bass or seabass, as their delicate flesh cooks wonderfully with this recipe. I normally buy the fish at a Chinese supermarket, where there’s a wide selection of live seafood that the fishmonger can clean and scale for you when you purchase.
- 8 minutes is for a 1lb fish, but you may need 10 minutes for a 1.2 lb fish, or 13 minutes for a 1.5 lb fish. The fish is fully cooked when the flesh is opaque and flakes easily from the bone. If it’s not done, you can steam it for another few minutes.
- I love spooning the sauce and scallions from this dish onto my rice to eat with the fish.
- Simmer any leftover sauce with tofu for a quick and easy bite.
Try this steamed sea bass with fragrant Asian ingredients as the centrepiece for a Chinese menu. Steaming ensures the fish stays moist and flakes apart 1 whole large sea bass (about 8), gutted and cleaned (ask your fishmonger to do this), or 4 fillets of sea bass