Having seen their fish swimming around in a tank or pond only minutes before they eat it, the Cantonese know how fresh it is. While few of us in the West are so lucky, we can best enjoy the flavour of fresh fish by cooking them whole. Steaming them this easy Cantonese way ensures that the delicate flesh remains moist and the result is an elegant main course.
Make three or four shallow slashes on each side of the fish. Rub the fish on both sides with the salt and let it sit for 20 minutes. Blanch the fish in a large pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain the fish well, and put it on a heat-proof platter. Scatter the ginger shreds evenly over the fish. Set up a large Chinese steamer or put a rack into a wok, fish kettle, or other deep pot. Fill it with about
Remove the platter and cooked fish from the steamer and pour off all the liquid. Pour the soy sauce over the fish and scatter the onions over and around the fish. Heat the oil until it just smokes, pour this over the fish, and serve at once.
© 1990 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.