Celebrate the Lunar New Year with this fabulous steamed fish as the finale to a banquet - the last main course of any feast must include a whole fish. Many Chinese dishes are rich in symbolism. In Cantonese the word for fish is yu (魚) which is a homophone for the word surplus (余) so fish is an important part of the meal. Serving the head and tail of the fish is also auspicious symbolising a good start and end to the year,
I've used trout here though carp (a rather ordinary and quite bony fish) is considered auspicious.
- Prep Time : 15-20 minutes
- Cook Time : 15-20 minutes
- Yield : 3 - 4
- 1 whole fish such as bream, trout or snapper - about 700g, scaled and gutted
- salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- toasted sesame oil - 1 -2 teaspoons
- fresh ginger - 3 - 4 slices, peeled and cut into julienne (thin slices)
- light soy sauce - 2 tablespoons
- dry sherry or rice wine - 2 tablespoons
- green onions (shallots) - 2, white part sliced finely
- carrot - 1/4, peeled and julienned (optional)
- vegetable oil - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Rinse and dry the fish thoroughly. Make three diagonal slashes about 2.5cm apart on each side so the fish cooks evenly. Rub inside and out with the salt and sesame oil. Place the fish on a plate (or heatproof platter) and scatter the ginger over the top.
Put a rack in the centre of wok or baking dish and fill with boiling water to within 2.5cm of the rack. Place the platter on the rack. Cover with a large tight-fitting lid or foil and steam vigorously for about 15 minutes or until a knife inserted in the thickest part of the flesh comes out clean and the flesh flakes easily
Remove platter from steamed, place fish onto a clean plate or serving platter and pour the soy sauce and wine evenly over the fish. Scatter the shallots and carrots over the top. Heat the oil in a small pan over low heat until very hot, but not smoking and pour the hot oil over the entire surface of the dish.