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Fish is a must dish during Chinese New Year because it symbolizes good fortune. In Chinese, the word for “fish,” “yu,” has the same pronunciation as the word for “abundance.” So how to cook steamed fish, so it’s super tasty, delicate, and won’t be fishy? Stay tuned for all the cooking tips!

Chinese Steamed Fish Recipe

Serving: 2 to 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

For the steamed fish:
1 whole (1 1/2 pounds) striped bass, gutted, descaled, and cleaned
3 stalks scallions
6 slices ginger
1 teaspoon avocado oil, or replace with other cooking oil

For the sauce:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 stalks scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 sprigs cilantro, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 slices ginger
1 small shallot, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon dried shrimp

For the toppings:
2 stalk scallions, julienned
3 slices ginger, julienned
1/8 red bell pepper, julienned
4 tablespoon avocado oil, or replace with other cooking oil

Chinese Steamed Fish Instructions

To prepare the fish:
    • This striped bass is descaled, gutted, and cleaned. Use a paper towel to pat dry, and remove any remaining blood. (So the steamed fish is tasty and not fishy.)
    • Place a paper towel along the sides of the fish, so it won’t be slippery. On the inside of the fish, cut along the sides of the spine, without cutting through. (So the steamed fish can cook through faster, resulting in a delicate texture.)
To make the sauce:
  • In a small pot over low heat, place the water, soy sauce, scallions, cilantro, ginger, shallot, and dried shrimp. Cook until fragrant for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and wait until it cools down. Remove all the aromatics.
To steam the fish:
  • On a plate, place the scallions on it. (It raises up the fish, so the fish cooks through faster. It also adds more aroma to the dish.)
  • Transfer the fish to the plate. Brush a thin layer of avocado oil on the fish. (It’s like a protective layer, so the fish’s moisture remains inside.)
  • Place the ginger over the fish. (Ginger also helps to remove the fishy taste.)
  • In a large steamer over high heat, bring water to a boil. Transfer the fish inside, cover the lid, and steam for 6 minutes. (Add another 2 minutes for every 1/2 pound.)
  • Carefully take out the fish. Discard the liquid. (The liquid is very fishy, so we don’t keep it.) Also, remove the ginger and scallions.
To serve:
  • Place green parts of the scallions, ginger, white parts of the scallions, and red bell peppers over the fish.
  • In a small pan over high heat, pour in the avocado oil, and heat it until smoking hot for about 2 minutes. Pour it over the fish.
  • Drizzle the sauce on the side of the fish. Enjoy!

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