Monkfish steamed with ginger & yellow beans on tomato basmati rice

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Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey


By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

In 2005, I was lucky enough to travel around Guangdong, China, for 19 days filming a TV show about the delights of Cantonese cuisine. In the show I cooked a dish very similar to this in beautiful Daya Bay using whole tiger groper. This style of steaming fish is very much a traditional recipe from many parts of South-East Asia and China, but what I have found is that it actually goes really well with this tomato rice originating in Turkey. In 2007, our friends Tarik and Savas, who own changa and muzedechanga restaurants in Istanbul, had hired a gorgeous ‘Captain Pugwash’- type boat for us all to have a summer break on. They’re both excellent cooks and the tomato rice that Tarik made on that voyage has since proven to be a great all-rounder with most fish dishes - the light acidity of it especially complements the yellow beans in this recipe, although I use basmati rice in place of the short-grain Turkish rice that Tarik used. Although I used monkfish tail (skinned and cut through the bone), hake, sea bass, turbot or skate wings will work equally as well, just adjust the cooking times as needed. A salad made from rocket, watercress, spinach and fresh herbs goes really well with this, as does steamed buttered spinach, asparagus and mange-tout.


  • 2 thumbs of ginger, peeled and julienned, or thinly sliced - keep the ginger peelings
  • 60 g salted yellow beans (bottled in a brine)
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) soy sauce
  • 4 lime leaves
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) peanut oil
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) sesame oil
  • 4 x 200-g chunks of fish on the bone
  • 200 g (1 cup) basmati rice
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil


Place the ginger, yellow beans, soy, lime leaves, peanut oil and sesame oil into a bowl and slosh it around. Add the fish and mix it with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to marinate for 10 minutes in a cool place, but not in the fridge.

While it’s marinating, make the rice. Rinse the rice for 20 seconds in a sieve under cold running water then drain it. Place in a saucepan with the tomatoes, olive oil, 350 ml cold water and ½ teaspoon fine salt. Put a lid on, place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Give a quick stir, then turn to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on. Turn off the heat and rest with the lid on for 10 minutes.

Place the ginger peelings in the bottom of a steamer along with 2 litres of hot water, turn the heat on and let it boil for a minute with the steamer lid on.

Place the lime leaves onto a heat-proof plate or a dish that will comfortably fit into the steamer basket (it needs to have sides on it so that the marinade juices don’t completely run off), then sit the fish on and pour the ginger and yellow beans on top with the marinade juices. Place the plate in the steamer then put the lid back on and steam for 8-10 minutes, at which point the fish should be cooked.

To check, take the lid off after 8 minutes being careful not to burn yourself from the steam, and poke a thin sharp knife into the flesh around the bone - the flesh should be translucent.

To Serve

Give the rice a gentle stir and divide amongst four warmed plates, sit a portion of fish on top and drizzle with the steaming juices.