December 1st, 2010
Steamed Fish with Leek and Mango Paste
I apologize for the awful photography on this post. I did it with my phone after deciding to write about it at the last minute.
OK, so don’t ask me where I got this from but here it goes:
1. Take two small fresh fish (your choice, I used Silver Snappers from Hong Kong Supermarket) and set aside.
2. In a mortar grind some fennel and whole dry chilies and set aside.
3. In the same mortar pound some fresh ginger and add to the dry spices you just ground.
4. Peel and finely chop a small, ripe—and I mean RIPE—mango, and make a paste with the ginger-fennel- chili mix and set aside.
5. Cut some Chinese leek (it’s a slimmer kind, like scallions) and cilantro and set aside.
6. Line the inside of a steamer with banana leaves (You should always keep some in your freezer. No excuse not to!). Make sure you don’t have any slits on them or the sauce will spill out. Some people use a pot inside a rice steamer and that is fine too, but in this case don’t use the banana leaves.
7. Now spread half of the leek-cilantro mix on the bottom. Follow this with half of the mango-ginger-spice mix.
8. Place fish on top of this and gently press down. Follow with the other half of the mango paste and the leek cilantro on the very top.
9. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. A BIT! OK?
10. Add some freshly ground pepper (optional).
11. Add less than 2 tablespoons of fish sauce OR about a tablespoon of soy sauce. Either one will do (you can also play with a mix of the two that errs on the side of the fish sauce). Pour thinly and all over the fish without disturbing all the stuff on top of them.
12. Fold the leaves in and steam for about 10-15 mins. Really, ten should be enough.
13. Serve on the steamer itself and pick the meat out with chopsticks as you eat.
This goes well with a simple soup on the side, or with sticky rice. Something simple that will not compete with the different flavors of the fish dish.