Steamed whole Sea Bass is the perfect sharing dish for your Chinese New Year banquet. Serve whole to the middle of the table surrounded by a selection of sides from steamed greens to noodles. The addition of the chilli sauce add a little heat to the dish
- 1 tbsp salted soybeans
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 fresh bird’s-eye chilli
- Large handful of coriander
- 1 x 350–500g sea bass, scaled, gutted and de-gilled
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 tsp chilli bean sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 100ml chicken or vegetable stock, or hot water
- A dash of dark soy sauce
- Lightly crush the soybeans in a small bowl with the back of a teaspoon. Finely chop the garlic and chilli. Roughly chop the coriander.
- Wash the fish, pat dry, and place on a large plate or platter suitable for steaming. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Using a plate, build your wok clock: place the crushed soybeans at 12 o’clock, then in a clockwise direction, arrange the garlic, chilli, sauce bowl and chopped coriander.
- Place a steamer stand in a large wok or steaming pan and fill with boiling water to one-third of the way up the sides. Place the fish plate into the wok or pan, cover with a lid and steam for 7–12 mins, until cooked. Remove and set aside, covering the fish with foil so it stays warm and moist.
- Drain and dry the wok, add the vegetable oil and heat until smoking. Add the soybeans and stir-fry for 30 secs, then add the garlic, chillies and sauce. Bring to a vigorous boil, then add half the coriander and continue to cook for 1 min until the sauce has thickened and reduced by at least a third.
- Pour the sauce over the steamed fish and garnish with the remaining coriander to serve.
TOP TIP: To check whether your fish is fully cooked, pull the dorsal fin (the one on the back) lightly. If it falls off without any force, the fish will be cooked through.
Chinese Unchopped by Jeremy Pang, published by Quadrille Publishing Ltd.