Thursday, February 17, 2011

Asian Steamed Snapper with Soy Sauce Broth

One of the best ways I like to eat fish is steamed. All the natural sweetness of the fish comes through and is heightened when cooked with the bones. The bones lend such a deeply rich flavour that you just can't get with a fillet. 

Adding to the joy of steaming fish is that it's so easy. You bring a large pot of water to a boil, place your fish in a bamboo steamer that's sitting on top of the pot, close the lid and presto- it's perfectly cooked within 15 minutes (depending on size of course).

I stuffed the snapper with ginger, coriander and garlic and topped it with the most delicious soy sauce broth. The broth is subtle but makes all the difference to the dish. Serve it with some steamed jasmine rice and you can't go wrong!

1 whole snapper
1 finger of finger
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons coriander
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 lime, quartered
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 red chili, julienned
salt and pepper to taste

Have your fish monger clean and scale the fish. Don't chop off the head as it will help flavour your fish. Peel the garlic and slice two into thin chips and finely chop the other. Peel the ginger and julienne several strips, Grate a teaspoon of the ginger into a paste. Finely chop 1 tablespoon of coriander and roughly chop 1 tablespoon. 
Cut deep slits on a bias into both sides of the fish- depending on the size you may need to cut more than two.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and insert the garlic chips and julienned ginger into the slits. Don't insert more than one piece of ginger into each slit as too much will be overpowering. For the big cavity in the middle, insert the coriander, 2 lime segments and any extra bits of ginger or garlic you may have. 

Place tinfoil on the base of a steamer and fish on top of the foil. Bring water to a boil and rest steamer on the pot. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until done. Use caution when opening the lid as the steam can really burn you. 

In the meantime heat a small saucepan and add sesame oil, garlic, ginger and some chili strips. Cook quickly until the garlic softens lightly. Add the soy sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the coriander and a squirt of lime. Turn off the heat and pour as much as you like onto the fish when serving. 

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