Steamed Bass or Grouper with Chilli Sauce

A firm fish like bass, or mullet, is perfect for steaming – and especially with these tangy flavours from the herbs and spices. The steaming process really does enhance the flavours.

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 whole bass or grouper (weighing 700 g [lb]), scaled, gutted and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (or use dry sherry)
  • 4 green chilli peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 blades of lemon grass, crushed and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 60 ml (2fl oz) lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Salt
  • White pepper

Method

Wash and dry the fish. With a sharp knife make half-a-dozen slashes over the skin of the fish. Mix together all the remaining ingredients and spread over the fish. Steam on a perforated tray in a large wok that has a domed lid for about 25 minutes, or until the flesh is firm but still moist and tender. Alternatively, you could use a big bamboo steamer or a fish kettle. To serve, pass round the chilli sauce separately.

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