Sunday, 27 April 2014

Cook's Nook: 3 aromatic fish dishes

Fish is so versatile, you can serve it steamed, fried or braised. Eating a whole fish as part of a multi-course Chinese meal is a particular treat.

When you have good fish – a fresh fish of medium to large size – enhance its taste with any one of these tried-and-tested flavours.      


1 sea bass, about 600g

Salt and pepper to taste

2cm ginger, thinly sliced

Tangy sauce

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp calamansi lime juice

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp caster sugar, or to taste

½ tsp chicken stock powder

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

3 bird’s eye chillies, chopped

100ml chicken stock or water


Red chilli strips

Coriander leaves

Spring onions, chopped

Fried shallot crisps

Clean the fish and cut butterfly style. Pat dry with paper towel. Then season with salt and pepper.

Place the fish on a heatproof plate that will fit in the wok, and place the ginger slices by the side of the fish and inside the cavity.

Place a rack in the wok and pour water in to halfway up. Bring water to boil.

Steam the fish on high heat for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the eyes of the fish pop out. Remove and drain the liquid that has accumulated on the plate.

Combine the lemon sauce ingredients, stir to dissolve the sugar, and drizzle over the fish. Steam again for one to two minutes.

Garnish with red chilli, spring onion, coriander and shallot crisps. Serve hot.


500g white pomfret              

A little salt and pepper

2-3 tbsp tapioca flour

2 onions, halved and sliced thinly

1 tbsp chopped garlic

20g ginger, shredded

35g red capsicum, cubed

2 stalks spring onion, cut into sections

1 tbsp Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine

Sauce ingredients

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp cornflour

1/8 tsp pepper

½ tsp chicken stock powder

200ml water       


Spring onion and red chilli curls

Coriander leaves

Clean fish, and make two to three slight cuts on both sides. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle over with tapioca flour.

Heat enough oil for deep frying in a wok, and deep-fry the fish until golden brown. Remove the fish and place on a serving platter.

Leave four tablespoons of oil in the wok, and fry the ginger shreds and garlic until fragrant and crispy. Remove the ginger, garlic and oil from the wok, and set aside.

Add two tablespoons of sesame oil in the wok. Add the onions and fry until soft. Drizzle in Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine to aromatise the onions.

Pour in the combined sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is thick. Add the capsicum and spring onion, and give the mixture a stir. Dish out and pour the mixture, including the gravy, over the fish.

Top with the ginger and garlic crisps set aside earlier. Drizzle over a little of the fragrant oil.

Garnish the dish with spring onion, chilli curls and coriander leaves just before serving.


450-500g white pomfret

Adequate tapioca flour

4 thin slices ginger

1 can lychee, drained; reserve the syrup

1 slice canned pineapple ring, cubed

Seasoning (combined)

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp sugar

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine

1 tbsp cornflour


Spring onion, chopped

Coriander leaves

Clean pomfret and fillet the meat. Cut the fish fillets into slices.

Add a little of the seasoning to the fish and fish slices. Sprinkle the tapioca flour over the fish and fish slices, and coat them well with flour.

Heat enough oil for deep frying, and deep-fry the fish and fish slices until golden and crispy. Remove the fish onto a serving platter and pile the fish slices on top.

Leave one tablespoon of oil in the wok. Sauté the ginger until fragrant and add the pineapple. Fry for 10 to 20 seconds.

Pour 120ml of the lychee syrup in and bring to boil. Add remaining seasoning ingredients and bring to a quick boil. Add the lychee and stir to combine.

Pour the lychee and sauce over the fish, garnish and serve immediately.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , amy beh , fish recipes


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