East Asian, Fish

Steamed Rockfish, Ginger.

I don’t cook or eat Chinese food all that often, but when I do, I want it to taste like ginger. Ginger is warm and spicy, sweet without being sugary, and hot without burning the mouth. It is refreshing and clean and pairs perfectly with steamed and poached proteins, which otherwise can be bland.

1 whole rockfish, cleaned and scaled (substitute striped or sea bass)
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 scallions, white and green, sliced diagonally 2″
2″ ginger, sliced thinly and bruised

* * * *
3 scallions, minced (white and green)
4 inches ginger, peeled and julienned (1/16″)
1/2 tsp white soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp peanut oil

Rub the soy on the inside and outside of the fish on both sides. Place on rack in a fish poacher or on a large, heat-safe ceramic plate atop an overturned bowl in an even larger saute pan with a lid, lined with 1/3 of the scallion and ginger slices. Combine Shaoxing and about 1/4 c water in the bottom of the fish poacher or the pan. Tuck another 1/3 of the scallion and ginger slices in the cavity and arrange the rest on top. Steam the fish.

Meanwhile, combine the minced scallions, ginger, and white soy; combine with the sesame oil. When the fish is completely cooked through, heat the peanut oil untl sizzling and remove the fillets from the bone to a serving plate. The cheeks and the chin – and the eyes – are a special treat. Spoon the scallion-ginger mix over the fish, and pour the sizzling peanut oil over the ginger.

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