Asian-Style Steamed Fish with Ginger and Scallions




I feel like fish is a bad word these days or at least something to fear. Throughout my pregnancy with Alex I had a long list of fish that was tiered somewhat like: avoid at all costs (risky), don't even think about it, eat at your own risk (moderate risk), and eat during a blue moon (it's still a risk!). I got so confused with the extensive and sometimes contradictory lists from various credible sources that I simply stuck to only a handful,  and since then have thrown out the list.

These days I feel lucky that we can get our hands on good quality and deemed safe varieties of fish. When I do I often resort to my favorite standby recipe for fish, which is to salt and pepper, drizzle some  oil and broil quickly under a hot fire in the oven, and chase it with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. On the rare occasion I'll treat it specially, the way I feel we will all do as it becomes harder and harder to obtain wild and good quality fish. Asian steamed fish is one of my favorite special occasion recipe. A medley of potent aromatics such a spicy ginger and pungent green onions infuse with soy sauce, honey and vinegar and flavor the fish subtly and gloriously. The recipe is so simple, delicious and beautiful that it really should not be reserved for a special occasion but rather a regular ritual for how to treat fish specially.


Asian Steamed Fish with Ginger and Scallions
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons tamari sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 thai chiles, sliced thinly (optional)
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 whole fish such as White or Striped Bass, or Rockfish about 1lb each
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-inch knob ginger, julienned
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
Method
  1. Cut two sheets of 24-inch long parchment paper.
  2. Season fish generously with salt and pepper, including inside the cavity.
  3. Combine the honey, rice vinegar, tamari sauce, sesame oil and thai chiles, if using. Set aside.
  4. Place a piece of parchment on a baking sheet then in the center of the paper create a bed for fish to lay on with roughly a tablespoon of each of the following: scallions, shiitakes, ginger and garlic and top with fish. Sprinkle another tablespoon of each of the vegetables onto the fish.
  5. Spoon 1/2 of the sauce over the fish.
  6. Repeat with remaining parchment and ingredients. Any extra vegetables should be evenly distributed among the two packets.
  7. To seal the packet you may take the four corners of the parchment paper and fold it down.
  8. Arrange the pouches on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve with steamed white rice.

23 comments:

Claudia said...

Ginger and scallions - a match made in heaven. One of the best bluefish I ever had had that combo.

Ko said...

Looks great! Love you idea wrapped up the whole fish with parchment paper and baked in the over. Clever you!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Picture perfect!!! I love this dish, so fresh and flavorful.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fabulous presentation. How wonderful that you could find a good whole fish. It's not easy unless you live near the shore. I will keep this for our Florida trip where I know I can find good fish. I can smell the ginger and scallions.
Sam

From the Kitchen said...

I wish I was back living in Charleston. I'd be out to meet the boats this afternoon, fresh ginger in hand! The recipe and presentation are wonderful.

Best,
Bonnie

La Table De Nana said...

I thought it would be the recipe I made from Kylie Kwan...no..a whole fish..I have yet to try this..How gorgeous your pics are!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Christine!
What an absolutely gorgeous and healthy meal! Did baby eat any?
:)
Valerie

tasteofbeirut said...

Christine, I am so glad you bypassed all these hurdles and cooked fish anyway! Here there are also many variety of fish that are either endangered or extinct due to horrendous fishing practices (dynamite etc). In any case, this fish you cooked is superb and has just the right combination of spices to make it flavorful.

Sara said...

Yum! I've never cooked a whole fish (face and all) before, but this looks fantastic. I might just have to try it one day. I wonder if it'd be good with trout (or is that too "fishy"), since my husband could catch them and bring them home from the river?

Marie said...

Hi, I ended up to ur blog for the first time. Did I look some pictures from NY, can't remember but definitely I will come back again in your blog. Dish looks great and I remember too that risk list throughout pregnancy ;). Welcome to visit my blog, there's also some recipes. Autumn greetings from Finland! :)

Mari said...

Awesome dinner. I love the presentation, I am sure my hubby will loooove this!

Gloria said...

look absolutely nice Christine!

lostpastremembered said...

What a perfect fish presentation.

I agree with everything you say about fish. I worry that soon none will be safe to eat. Every time I hear about our congress trying to defeat clean air and water acts because they are bad for business I scream... what about the business of being alive on this planet. What if the ocean goes dead and we can't breathe? At a crab filled inlet by my house there's a sign up saying don't eat the crabs they cause cancer. What is this world coming to?

till that time comes, I will enjoy my fish in dishes like this... will make it this weekend!!!

lostpastremembered said...

What a perfect fish presentation.

I agree with everything you say about fish. I worry that soon none will be safe to eat. Every time I hear about our congress trying to defeat clean air and water acts because they are bad for business I scream... what about the business of being alive on this planet. What if the ocean goes dead and we can't breathe? At a crab filled inlet by my house there's a sign up saying don't eat the crabs they cause cancer. What is this world coming to?

till that time comes, I will enjoy my fish in dishes like this... will make it this weekend!!!

Lori Lynn said...

My kinda cooking Christine! Could eat this every night. I'm going to make it fresh loup de mer. Thanks for the recipe!
LL

Erica said...

Great flavors....That fish looks amazing! I am drooling here!!!!The presentation is fantastic!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

That looks beautiful - I'm not terribly brave when it comes to cooking or even ordering a full fish, but yours looks like a very impressive and delicious meal.

About Last Weekend said...

I'm going to try this - you have absolutely sold me - hook line and sinker. I have given up worrying about fish - especially salmon where I'm totally confused about the farmed and wild debate. I only worry that my kids eat too much tuna as they buy so much sushi from the store at the end of our road.

Barbara said...

Living in Florida, we have easy access to fresh seafood of all kinds. I worry about it too, but so far, it hasn't stopped me from cooking it. How can I resist?
I've only done fish in parchment once and loved the presentation and flavor. But the color didn't come close to yours. Marvelous recipe, Christine!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Isn't it sad that so many fish are not deemed safe to eat? We are much better consumers now that we have better information on safe seafood.

This looks like a delicious recipe, Christine! So healthy and fresh.

Angie's Recipes said...

This is how I like my steamed fish...with ginger and scallions.

nancy at good food matters said...

so beautiful. I rarely steam fish in parchment, and this is a marvelous reminder of why I should. excellent recipe--colors, pungency, juiciness.
thanks, Christine!

Chocolate Shavings said...

Fish always feels like such a treat when it's served like this!