Whole steamed gurnard with ginger and spring onion

Whole steamed gurnard with ginger and spring onion

By
From
Chinese Unchopped
Serves
2-3
Prep
10 mins
Cooking time
20 mins
Photographer
Martin Poole

In Chinese tradition, serving a whole fish at the dinner table signifies abundance in life, and if you ever see a Chinese family tucking into a whole steamed fish at a restaurant it is most probably a special occasion of some sort. From a purely culinary perspective, one wonderful thing about this tradition is that the fish itself retains all its moisture and flavour while keeping its delicate texture. In the Far East, the typical fish for this dish would be grouper, but I find gurnard has a very similar flavour and texture. Sea bass and bream are also great alternatives.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 300-500g fresh gurnard, scaled, gutted and de-gilled, (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
a thumb-size piece ginger
2 spring onions
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method

  1. Place the fish in a steaming dish large enough to sit in your large wok on a steamer stand, with enough space to cover the wok completely with a lid.
  2. Finely slice the ginger and arrange on top of the fish and inside its cavity.
  3. Slice the spring onions into fine matchsticks and place them in a small prep bowl. Put the soy sauce in a separate small bowl or ramekin, add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
  4. Set your large wok or steaming pan up with a steamer stand and fill with boiling water to a third of the way up the sides. Place the fish dish into the wok or pan, cover with a lid and steam for 7–15 minutes, until the fish is cooked. Remove the fish from the pan and scatter over the spring onion.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan until smoking-hot. Carefully pour the hot oil over the spring onion and fish to sizzle, then spoon over the soy sauce mixture and serve.

Tip:

  • When it comes to cooking whole fish, I tend to categorise them into the following sizes for cooking times: small fish (less than 300g) 7–9 minutes; medium fish (300g–500g) 10–12 minutes; and large fish (500g–750g) 13–15 minutes.
Tags:
Chinese
School of Wok
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