Steamed Shad Infused with Ginger and Scallions

Nishin no Shōga Mushi

Shad heralds spring along the eastern seaboard of the United States, and both the flesh and roe are prized. Here I’ve borrowed a robust gingery preparation from the Japanese to enhance the natural sweetness of this native American fish. Another, and very different, way of preparing shad can be found in the recipe for miso-stuffed trout

Ingredients

  • 2 large fillets of shad, about 14 ounces in all, boned

Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • ½ teaspoon ginger juice (extracted from grated fresh ginger)
  • 4 slender scallions

Method

  1. Rinse the fish under cold water and gently pat it dry with paper towels. Cut each fillet in half, crosswise, yielding four servings of about 3-4 ounces each.
  2. Combine the rice wine and ginger juice in a glass loaf pan. Marinate the fish for 5 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally to ensure even flavoring.
  3. Trim the scallions, then cut them into julienne strips on the diagonal. Lift the flap of flesh created by boning the shad fillet, and sprinkle the white and green scallion strips between the meat and the skin.
  4. Place each portion of fish on a piece of aluminum foil with its shiny side up, measuring about 5 x 8 inches. Fold the foil over the fish, sealing the sides by folding or crimping.
  5. Bring the water in a steamer to a boil, then adjust the heat to maintain a steady flow of steam. Place the packets in the steamer and cook the fish for 5 minutes. Serve a single packet to each person, hot.

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