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`One of the world's finest methods of cooking a whole fish is simply to steam it with fresh ginger and scallions,' says chef and food writer Bruce Cost. `You will need a heat-proof platter and a large steamer. I recommend a large wok 16 to 18 inches, fitted with a cake or pie rack and a large cover.' 1 very fresh, whole, top-grade rockfish on West Coast, sea bass on East Coast 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons light soy 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil Pinch of sugar 1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh ginger 2 scallions, including green, shredded, and in 2- inch lengths 4 dried, black, mushrooms, soaked 30 mins. in boiling water, sliced Sprigs of fresh coriander for garnish

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Rinse fish and dry thoroughly. Score it lightly at 1-inch intervals with sharp knife, and rub salt over entire fish. Combine soy sauce, oil and sugar. Set aside.

Pour water into steamer to within an inch of rack. Cover and bring to boil. Put fish on platter, pour sauce over it, decorate with ginger, scallion shreds, and softened mushrooms and steam 12 to 15 minutes or until fish is firm to touch. Serve garnished with coriander. Serves 2 to 4.

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