If you go into a Chinese Restaurant for dinner, chances are you will be served family style. Everyone has their own bowl of steamed rice and a variety of side dishes are placed in the middle. You simply serve yourself to whatever you please. One popular side dish that is typically served during dinner in a Chinese restaurant is steamed fish with scallions, ginger and soy sauce. Not only is this dish tasty, but it’s very entertaining to watch while it’s being served. The steamed fish is usually topped with ginger, scallions and/or cilantro. Hot oil is then doused at table side onto the aromatics to release their flavors. This makes for a sizzling show. Just be careful as third degree burns from hot oil splatters are no fun. Soy sauce then gets drizzled over the fish and it’s ready to eat.
Steamed fish with scallions, ginger and soy sauce, also as known in Vietnamese as Ca Hap Gung Hanh, is a light and easy-to-prepare dish. The fish is usually served whole, skin, head, eyes, and tails included. If you opt not to have your meal staring at you, then feel free to use fillets, which is what I did below. Enjoy!
- 2 lb white fish (sea bass, tilapia, or cod)
- Salt and pepper
- 2-4 scallions (slice thin)
- 2-inch knob ginger (peel and slice thin into matchsticks, keep the peel)
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce or Maggi seasoning
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Marinate the fish with a generous coating of salt and pepper on all sides.
- Transfer the fish to a parchment paper or foil. Add the ginger peel and half of the julienned slices on top of the fish. Fold the parchment paper over to seal. Steam the fish for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Gently lift up the parchment paper to remove the fish from the steamer. Discard the liquid by tilting the parchment paper to the side (liquid from steamed fish are usually too fishy and often discarded) and then slide the fish onto a serving platter.
- Coat the fish with soy sauce or Maggi seasoning.
- Top the fish with scallions and remaining ginger.
- In a small saucepan, heat up 1/4 cup vegetable oil.
- Right before serving, pour the hot vegetable oil on top of scallions and ginger. Be careful. It will splatter!
- Serve with white rice.