Sometime between eating prime rib and sipping eggnog, you might be interested in having a light, but saucy steamed fish. The confetti of colorful veggies on top of the fish screams “holidays” without the calorie count to prove it, and in 15 minutes, you can get this dish on the table, which makes it a perfect rescue dish for a busy evening.
I don’t believe in overloading oneself with kale or other austere measures as juicing to cancel out the fatty meals consumed during the holidays. I demand more from my food. It can’t just be healthy; It’s got to be (for lack of a better word) yummy.
My high school friend Amy introduced me to steamed fish with oyster sauce via a phone conversation a few years ago. Her Chinese brother-in-law cooked her this dish when she visited him in Chicago, and she described it in mouthwatering detail to me: steamed flaky fish seared with hot oil flavored with oyster sauce, and topped with crispy fried ginger with strings of scallions and chili peppers.
I like to add plenty of julienned red chili peppers and scallions, and of course, my daughter likes to move those aside when she eats this dish. But at least, she’s eating the fish and isn’t minding the fried ginger either.
Although this recipe is simple with a few basic ingredients, the order in which they are cooked is important. Frying the ginger first in the oil turns them into crispy sticks, and then gently cooking the garlic before adding the oyster sauce knocks out any raw garlic taste. It’s debatable whether this dish is about the fish or the sauce, but either way, it’s all meant to be scooped up and eaten with a bowl of rice.
- 1 pound of fish filet(cod, halibut, tilapia, snapper are all good here) that has been deboned
- 1 1/2 in knob of peeled ginger
- 2-3 red chili peppers
- 3 scallions
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 2 tbs oyster sauce
- (you may need 1 tbs of chicken stock to thin out sauce)
- (If you are doubling this recipe, then steam fish in two batches.)
- Cut up fish filet into 2 inch pieces. LIne a steamer basket with lettuce, and place fish on it.
- Bring water to a boil, and steam for 5-7 minutes on high.
- Place steamed fish on a plate.
- Julienne(cut into thin strips) ginger, scallions, and chili peppers.
- Thinly slice garlic.
- Heat 1 1/2 tbs of oil in a pan on medium high, and saute ginger for a minute or until crispy.
- Place fried ginger on top of fish.
- Lower the heat, and add 1/2 tbs of oil into the pan, and gently saute garlic for a minute. Add oyster sauce, scallions and chili peppers to the pan. Raise the heat, and saute for 30 seconds.
- Pour over the fish on top of the fried ginger. Serve with a bowl of rice.