David's Recipe for Chinese Steamed Fish

Very easy. The quantities here are smaller than yoy're used ot on this site; the kids are gradually growing up and leaving home. If you want to, you can compare the recipe on which this one is based, here.

Main Course, Pseudo-Chinese

  • 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Place a layer of less than half of the onion slices, ginger slices, and chili rings in the steamer tray.
  3. Place some onion slices, ginger slices, and chili rings in the fish's abdomen.
  4. Place the fish in the steamer. Lay the remaining onion and ginger slices and some of the remaining chili rings on the fish.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. In the meantime, heat the oil in a small frying pan over moderate heat.
  8. Stirring constantly, sauté the minced onion, minced ginger, and the remaining chili until the onion is translucent, maybe a minute.
  9. Turn the heat off under the small frying pan.
  10. Stir in the brandy. It will almost certainly not ignite, but be careful, just in case.
  11. Stir in the soy sauce.
  12. 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.

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