Steamed Snapper Fillets

Steamed Snapper Fillets

Steamed snapper fillets with ginger and spring onion by Kylie Kwong

Less than 30 mins
Serves 4

It's not unusual for me to eat seafood five times a week, so I make the most of the fresh fish we have available in this country. The wonderful smoky-nuttiness of the hot peanut oil brings this classic Cantonese recipe together, infusing the aromatic ginger, soy and sugar.

4 x 100g snapper fillets
80ml (1⁄3 cup) water
2 tbsp shao hsing
2 tbsp julienned ginger
1 Chinese cabbage
½ tsp white sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce (gluten-free, if necessary)
¼ tsp sesame oil
½ cup spring onion, julienned
1½ tbsp peanut oil
¼ cup coriander leaves

1. Place fish in a shallow, heatproof bowl that will fit inside a steamer basket. Pour water and shao hsing over fish, then sprinkle with half the ginger. Place the bowl inside the steamer and position over a deep saucepan or wok of boiling water. Steam, covered, for 5–6 minutes.
2. Cut Chinese cabbage into squares and slip inside steamer. Cover and steam for a further 2–3 minutes or until cabbage has warmed through and fish is just cooked. The flesh should be white; if it is still translucent, cook for another minute or so.
3. Remove cabbage from steamer and arrange on a serving plate. Using a spatula, carefully remove fish fillets from steamer, and place on top of the cabbage.
4. Pour any liquid left in the bowl over fish, sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with combined soy sauce and sesame oil, then sprinkle with remaining ginger and half the spring onion.
5. Heat the peanut oil in a small frypan until moderately hot, then carefully pour over fish. Sprinkle fish with remaining spring onion and coriander, and serve immediately.

• Other fish suitable for this recipe include: blue-eye, bar cod, bream, King George whiting, ling, barramundi, mahi mahi and Murray cod.
• This classic ginger and spring onion dressing is also delicious with steamed silken tofu (excellent vegetarian option), steamed king prawns, white-cooked chicken or steamed oysters.
• If allergic to nuts, you can substitute the peanut oil with vegetable oil, and you can omit the sesame oil.
• You can use bok choy instead of Chinese cabbage.
• You can replace the coriander with fresh mint or dill.

Recipes extracted from Good Food New Classics, edited by Ardyn Bernoth, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP $39.99.
Photography © William Meppem, Food stylist © Hannah Meppem