Whole Fish – Chinese Style
The Chinese like their fish steamed and served whole. I like the fact that the whole fish is used (which looks great presented to the table), and the skin is left on which is delicious (I always think it’s such a waste when fillets are sold without the skin).
Steaming the fish also makes very healthy eating. Gurnard and flounder are good to prepare this way as they have no scales to remove. Serve one flounder between 1-2 people. Blue cod and smaller snapper suit this style of cooking too. Buy the fish whole and ask your fishmonger to gut and scale it for you. Classic Chinese flavours like soy, garlic and ginger give this fish a lovely fragrance and flavour.
- whole white fish 1, medium sized, scaled and gutted (e.g. gurnard, blue cod, flounder, snapper)
- coriander 1 bunch
- garlic 2 cloves, sliced
- ginger 1 inch peeled, finely sliced and cut into thin matchsticks
- soy sauce 1 tablespoon
- sesame oil 1 ½ teaspoons
- chilli 1-2 small, chopped
- spring onions 2, shredded
- steamed rice (optional)
- stir-fried vegetables (optional)
Preheat oven to 200°C/390 Fahrenheit.
1. Lay the whole fish lengthwise on a piece of tinfoil (about one arm’s-length long). Cut off coriander stalks and stuff inside fish cavity, reserving the leaves for garnish.
2. Use a sharp knife to make a few cuts in the flesh on both sides of the fish, and stuff with some garlic, ginger and chilies and scatter over the rest. Pour over soy sauce and sesame oil.
3. Wrap up the tinfoil around the fish to encase. Bake for 10 minutes or until fish is just cooked through.
4. Open up parcel and garnish fish with chopped coriander leaves and shredded spring onion.
Serve with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables.