Adventures in Chinese Cooking: Steamed Tilapia

Danny's family is in town this week so apart from the usual visiting and taking in the local sights, I took the opportunity to learn a bit more about traditional Chinese style cooking. Naturally, I chose steamed fish, a dish that I could never make at home as Danny hates fish. But too bad for him, haha, I wanted something new!

We strolled over to a bustling Chinatown that chilly morning to select our 'swimming fish' straight from the tank. Apparently fresh fish are much better for steaming than pre-packaged or frozen ones. It was obvious that I didn't grow up on a farm as I had to walk away when the fish was being 'prepared'. Nothing like hearing the smack of death on concrete floors... but I digress.

Big girl face restored, we bought some green onion, fresh ginger, and a couple of tools for steaming. After a quick stop at Tim Horton's to warm up with a fresh cup of coffee we headed home to prepare the day's meal.

I'm glad to report the process was quite simple. We cleaned out the fish and washed it thoroughly. Next we salt and peppered it generously and placed it in a shallow pan on a bed of green onion and coarsely chopped ginger. After sprinkling it with oil we placed the whole pan onto a rack emerged in a boiling pot of water, secured the lid and let it steam away for 20 minutes or so.

Meanwhile we peeled and sliced some more ginger, this time in long thin strips. The same technique was used with the green onion. It was obvious who was the apprentice and who was the master in this situation as all my pieces were choppy and uneven but you've got to start somewhere, right?

After draining the steaming pan and discarding the contents (except for the fish, of course) we piled the new ginger and green onion on top. A top secret sauce was prepared on the stove, the contents of which I suspect were soy sauce, oyster sauce (?), sesame oil, salt, pepper, and sugar. I cannot confirm this, however, as the little man of the house was wanting his supper at that very moment too.

Finally, we poured the sauce over our pan of fish and our dish was complete! 

I'm happy to report that we most of us enjoyed the final product immensely.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I'm only starting to eat fish and so I haven't graduated to the whole thing yet...but what a cool experience, learning something like this from Danny's mom!