One of the best simple dishes I prepare is a Cantonese-style steamed fish. It’s pretty easy to make – it requires only a few ingredients, allowing the clean fresh flavor of the fish to stand out. I like to use a white-fleshed fish for this (I often use tilapia) and I strongly recommend using a whole fish. It’s cheaper to buy whole fish, and the flavors are better whenever you cook anything on the bone.
For Chinese New Year, I got a whole tilapia to steam. I’m using a recipe largely in-line with my grandmother’s, adapted a little bit to my tastes. I first packed the body of the fish with slices of ginger and green onion. Then I scored the fish on both sides, drizzled a little soy sauce, and inserted ginger into the cuts. Time to steam!
It doesn’t take too long to cook a whole fish, maybe 10-12 minutes. When it’s ready, I top it with green onions and ginger, and pour steaming hot canola oil over the top. Hot soy sauce is poured over as well.
And it’s ready to eat. You have to be SO careful with a whole fish not to eat the bones. I’ve found the best way to eat all the meat from one side, removing the chunks of fish and leaving the bone intact. Oh, and, don’t forget to eat the cheek.
Then, try to carefully remove the whole bone in one piece. If successful, you’ll get the whole bottom fillet, as shown below.
Quite simple, and pretty healthy. I like to serve this with steamed rice and vegetables, creating a really healthy, balanced meal.