from one generation to the next
Winter ills have laid me low for the passed couple of weeks. I’ve had the sniffles and a hacking cough that has the unhappy knack of reasserting itself just when it lulls me into thinking I’m on the mend. A lack of appetite and the inability to discern flavour has dictated my mealtime choices of comfort foods fortified with citrus, ginger and garlic. I’ve lived on chicken soup, congee, risotto and steamed greens, interspersed with the odd meal of fish. I’ve lost count of the number of mandarins I’ve snacked on and oranges I’ve squeezed for their juice.
This simple dinner time dish requires little energy and minimal time to prepare. While in essence it’s simply steamed fish and blanched Chinese greens, the savoury sauce loaded with spring onion and ginger flavour means it’s all at once assertive and restorative.
Barramundi AKA Asian sea bass is my local fish of choice. It thrives in Australia’s warm northern waters. It’s a beautiful fleshy fish that lends itself to Asian style cooking and flavours. I insist that it’s wild caught though as those that are farmed have a distinct muddy flavour I find distasteful.
For 2 people
Steamed Barramundi with ginger and spring onion sauce
2 thick cut barramundi fillets
3 dessertspoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons chicken stock
3 dessertspoons shoaxing cooking wine
1 dessertspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup water
3 dessertspoons full finely julienned fresh ginger
1/2 cup sliced spring onion greens
1/2 teaspoon garlic infused oil
1/2 teaspoon onion infused oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
chilli, spring onion and ginger julienne to garnish
2 medium heads of bok choy, quartered lengthwise.
Handful of snow peas, topped and tailed
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small pot, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the oils.
Line a bamboo steamer with a piece of baking paper.
Pat dry the fish and season with salt and pepper.
Put the fish into the steamer then cover with the lid.
Put the steamer into a wok and water until 3cm lower than the base of the steamer.
Bring the water in the wok to the boil, reduce the heat and steam the fish until it’s cooked, 10-14 minutes. Test by separating the centre with a knife. It will flake easily.
Remove the steamer from the wok and set aside.
Throw the greens into the water, return the wok to the boil and cook 1 minute.
Drain, then divide the greens between two serving dishes.
Place a fillet of barramundi on top on the greens then dress with the sauce.
Garnish with fresh spring onion, extra ginger julienne and red chilli.