Steaming is a very classic way of Asian food preparation. Growing up, I had steamed fish once every week or two weeks. Not only is steaming energy efficient, it is also healthy and a very gentle cooking process. Steaming helps to retain most of the nutrients in whatever you are cooking. At home I eat whole steamed fish, but tonight I had a salmon fillet to work with. Fillet, steak or whole fish – the cut doesn’t matter. The only difference is the cooking time.
- 1 lb. salmon fillet, about 1″ thick.
- 3 stalks of scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2″ L x 1/4″ thick piece of ginger, cut into fine slivers or julienned
- 1 tsp Oil
- Metal plate to steam fish, a ceramic plate also works but not as efficient
- 1/4C soy sauce
- 1/16C oil
- 2 tsp sugar
Begin by preparing your ginger and scallions into 2″ pieces. Set aside.
Rinse your fish and pat it dry. If you have a thick piece of fish, cut slits into it. Take 3/4 of the scallion and ginger and distribute evenly into the slits. During the steaming process, the aroma will infuse the fish directly instead of only the outside of the fish. As you can see, I stuffed my piece of fish with a TON of scallions. <3 scallions.
After stuffing the fish, salt and pepper the top of the fish. Make sure it sticks. Then take the 1tsp oil and pour ontop of the fish. Rub it in. This will help the fish from drying out during steaming. Place the fish onto the plate and set aside. If you want, you can take some scallions/ginger and place them between the dish and the fish. This will definitely help to make sure the fish is flavored well.
Whenever you steam food, boil the water first and then add in the dish. I alternate between using a bamboo steamer and a metal rack like shown below. The bamboo steamer is good when I have multiple dishes but the metal rack is really convenient when I’m only steaming one thing. Make sure that the water level is not too high but also enough so that the water doesn’t all evaporate and scald the bottom of your pan. Trust me, its not fun cleaning it >.<
Bring your water to a bowl place the plate on top of the rack and cover the wok. Then lower the heat to medium low. I steamed my fish for about 17 to 20 minutes at low until it was fork tender but not dried out. You can steam it at higher heat but be careful to watch it more carefully. Try not to open the lid too often or you will disturb the cooking process.
Once the fish is cooked, take it out and set it aside. Drain out the water, dry the pan and heat it up. Once the pan is really hot, pour in the soy sauce, sugar and oil. Stir until all is combined and cook until mixture is bubbling (see flavored soy sauce post for image). Pour over fish and serve immediately. The sauce tastes really good over rice. Enjoy!