"Weird" Food Series No. 2: Steamed Whole Fish
TY back here continuing WORKKPARTY's "Weird" Food series. This post includes one of my favorite dishes, Chinese style Steamed Whole Fish. Many people find whole fish weird or freaky, likely because the fish is staring back at you! *Like a creepy old paintings in a castle hallway- not that I've ever seen one. And I'm kidding, well sort of. Don't worry it won't bite you, anymore.
Growing up in Hawaii seeing whole fish in the grocery store was about as common as seeing a stop sign. We had designated fish sections in our grocery store. Contrary to what people might think grocery stores in the PNW are not prevalent with seafood. You'll only find those on the coastal towns and cities (i.e. Seattle). In order for me to find a whole fish (one that I want) I need to go to specific grocery stores. Most fish are already fillet and packaged so people don't correlate fish with being an animal with a head, therefore "weird".
For this recipe though you will need a whole fish descaled & clean. Chinese restaurants sometimes sell this with a black bean sauce as well. I'm going to leave out the black bean sauce this time around though. This recipe is super simple and like most of my recipes from home, it makes me a little homesick. My papa (grandfather) used to make this for us kids on special occasions.
On to this simple yummy goodness of a dish. The most difficult part is finding a whole fish that you like- I had to go to 3 different stores before I found my fish. Since you are steaming the fish, the fish needs to be meaty and oily to with stand the steaming process. Typical fish used include mullet, red snapper, Moi (Pacific Threadfin), or bass.
Once your fish is done steaming remove and plate your fish. This dish is super simple and quick to make. It's also fairly cost effective, my fish was originally $4.80 but it was half off! The green onions, cilantro, and ginger were about $3 bucks total. I already had soy sauce and oil. This dish put me back a whopping $6.00! Uhhhh yesss! My Asian self was rejoicing. This dish is super impressive to guest and cost effective.
As Andrew Zimmerman says, "If it looks good, eat it!"