Saturday, November 10, 2012

Halibut steamed with fresh ginger

Lunches has always been just 2 kids affair. I will eat whatever left (when what I cooked wasn't in the kids' favour) or just something else (when it is simply delicious to them). Like I say I have always been cooking and trying out new dishes. How can I not be sick of cooking the same dishes again and again for 1 year?

Halibut is a kind of fish, easily found in my local supermarket, so very happy with this dish made up of simple ingredients. Furthermore, this dish can amaze the kids with the sizzling sound at the last step of preparation. I purposely called my kids to catch the moment and they went "oooo". OK, they are mountain tortoise lah. :)

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry or shaoxing rice wine
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound halibut fillets, or another meaty fish such as cod or snapper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shredded fresh ginger
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion


  1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, and sesame oil, and stir well. Place it by the stove for preparing the sauce right after cooking. Put the vegetable oil in a small saucepan or small skillet and place it by the stove as well. Set a serving plate for the fish by the stove, along with a long-handled spatula or V-shaped metal tongs with which to transfer the fish from its cooking plate to its serving plate, where you will add the seasonings.
  2. To use a standard steamer, fill the base of a steamer set or a wok with about 4 inches of water. Place the steamer basket over the water. Set out a plate that will fit inside the steamer basket, on which to place the fish.
  3. Arrange the fish skin side down on the plate. (if you have more than one piece, leave a little space between them). Sprinkle the salt lightly over the fish. Scatter the ginger over the fish. Put the plate in position inside the basket or on the rack, and bring the steaming water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  4. When the steam is flowing well, adjust the heat to maintain an even steam flow, and cover the steamer basket with its lid. Cook the fish for 10 minutes, or until it is done to your liking at the thickest part of the fish. Turn off the heat and leave the fish in the steamer while you heat the oil.
  5. Place the small pan or skillet of oil over medium-high heat. Let it heat up until it is hot but not smoking, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and keep it handy.
  6. Carefully transfer the fish to a serving plate, leaving any liquid behind. Quickly pour the soy sauce mixture over the ginger-covered fish, and scatter the green onion on top of the ginger. Slowly pour the hot oil over the top of the fish, expecting a big sizzle and gingery aroma. Serve hot.

Phew! What a big chunk of alphabets, but trust me, after reading a few times and understanding the order of the steps, it is nothing difficult. Actually, along with the steps are just explanation. You do not really have to follow so strictly. For example, you may prepare the sauces while the fish is steaming instead of having them standby around the stove (taking up precious counter top space) before cooking.

This dish is slightly too salty for my family's liking, so I reduced the seasonings when I cooked again. After that the kids love this dish to bits.

Due to infrequent cooking, I am not able to buy any spring onion, so all I had was ginger. I strongly believe that some orange shreds of carrot and spring onion will brighten up my dull looking dish.
Here's my steam halibut.

This recipe is taken from the book "Quick and easy chinese 70 everyday recipes" by Nancie McDermott.

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