- 2 trout, about 15 inches each, cleaned, or some similar fish or filet which hasn't been processed, diluted, or injected with a depot contraceptive to protect it from its own ignorance.
- 3 medium onions, sliced into thin disks
- 4 inches fresh ginger, sliced into thin disks
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1/2 in ginger, finely minced
- chili pepper, to taste, seeded and cut into thin rings or pseudo-rings
- 1/4 cup brandy or calvados, or the equivalent in dry white wine, divided
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 or more quarts boiling water, depending on the pot.
You will probably find it most convenient to steam this fish in a Chinese bamboo steamer, in a wok or on a pot.>
- Have the fish at room temperature, or close. If you're using a Chinese steamer, you might have to remove the heads and the tails of the fish to make them fit. If you're using a wok, place the steamer in the wok so you'll see how much water you need. It's important that the water not touch the fish, even at a full boil. Once you've put the water in the wok, remove the steamer.
- Place a layer of less than half of the onion slices, ginger slices, and chili rings in the steamer tray.
- Place some onion slices, ginger slices, and chili rings in the fish's abdomen.
- Place the fish in the steamer. Lay the remaining onion and ginger slices and some of the remaining chili rings on the fish.
- Place the steamer tray in the wok or over the pot, above the water bath. Place the cover on the steamer and let the water boil for a minute or two so that the steamer fills with... steam. Lower the heat to a slow boil.
- You should check the trout at 8 minutes, but they may take longer. The cooking time for other fish will depend on many variables, but in general, it is very short.
- In the meantime, heat the oil in a small frying pan over moderate heat.
- Stirring constantly, sauté the minced onion, minced ginger, and the remaining chili until the onion is translucent, maybe a minute.
- Turn the heat off under the small frying pan.
- Stir in the brandy. It will almost certainly not ignite, but be careful, just in case.
- Stir in the soy sauce.
- We serve the fish next to rice, pouring the sauce over both. We also serve the cooking vegetables as a side dish. My wife thinks that the fish-steamed onions are the best part of this dish. I also like the ginger slices, but then, I also like raw ginger slices. It takes all kinds.