Any type of firm white fish is suitable for steaming, a simple, quick cooking method that produces the most delicate finished dish. Oily fish, such as mackerel or sardine, are not suitable. The Chinese cook often uses ginger with fish, much as the Western cook uses lemon. Squeezing the ginger juice over the fish flavors it better than simply shredding the ginger and scattering the shreds on top. As an alternative to the Chinese seasonings of black beans, scallions, and soy sauce, try fresh herbs such as tarragon or fennel, and substitute hot butter for the final dousing with oil.
© 1981 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.