This is a very simple dish and the key to a successful steamed fish lies in the freshness of the star ingredient – Fish!
Here we have Threadfin or what we locals called Ikan Kurau in Malay.
- 2 Ikan Kurau steaks, total weight approximately 500g-600g (Threadfin, Barramundi, Promfet or the like).
- 2 Sour Plums (for steaming fish).
- 3 caps Dried Shitake Mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced.
- 80g Preserved Salted Vegetables (soaked in water for 20 minutes, rinsed, squeezed dry and shredded).
- 2 Red Chilli, sliced.
- 2 inches Old Ginger, shredded into thin strips.
- 1½ teaspoons Salt.
- ½ teaspoon Pepper and more to sprinkle after steaming.
- ¼ teaspoon Sugar, optional.
- 2-3 sprigs Cilantro, chopped.
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil.
- ½ cup Water (or clear unsalted chicken stock).
- A few cubes of Soft Tofu.
- Bring the steamer with water for steaming to a fast boil.
- Wash fish well and pat dry with paper towels.
- Gently rub the salt and pepper on the fish fillets.
- Place fish onto a steaming platter that can hold some water.
- Squeeze the sour plums between your fingers over the fish and place them by the side in platter.
- Spread shredded mushrooms, salted vegetables, ginger and sliced chillies on top of fish. Place tofu at the side.
- Drizzle the sesame oil over the fish.
- Add sugar, if using, into the ½ cup water, dissolve and pour into the plate.
- Place fish inside the rapid boiling steamer and steam over high heat for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and garnish with chopped cilantro. Sprinkle more pepper before serving.
Serve with rice. Spoon the fish soup over the rice. The salty and tangy flavour of the soup does wonders to whet your appetitie or at least mine
Dipping sauce of red cut chillies and light soy sauce, optional.
Reconstituting dried ingredients involves in soaking that ingredient in either hot, warm or cold water (depending on items) until soft. We normally also keep the soaking liquid for soup or stock base.