Suddenly realized that I haven’t steamed live fish for a while. In Brisbane, we don’t have many choices though. Silver perch is quite easily found in a nearby Asian grocery store. Quickly, I decided to have a steamed fish dish to sooth my soar throat. This is a traditional Chinese way of steaming a whole fish, simple and easy, and that provides with enough proteins for my family. The staff nearly did all the cleaning job for me. So I didn’t need to spend a long time in the kitchen for preparation and cooking.
If you have tried live silver perch, you might notice there’s something like slippery gel on the fish skin. Many people don’t bother it at all, but I’m not quite into it as I feel the slippery stuff quite nasty. Water can’t wash it away easily. Gladly, there’s a very simple trick to get rid of the slippery, nasty thing away.
Steamed Whole Fish - Silver Perch (Printable recipe)
- 1 live silver perch, about 405 gm
- a pinch salt
- a pinch pepper
- 2 tbsp ginger, shredded
- a handful spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp hot oil, for dressing
- a dash light soy sauce, for dressing
- Clean and remove all the guts inside the fish. You must have noticed most live fish that live in lakes or pounds, including silver perch, have slippery gel on their skins. It’s quite hard to wash it away with water. Here’s a simple trick: Rub salt on the both sides of the fish, then rinse with running water. Repeat this step if necessary. The slippery gel would be much easier to be removed. Wash and wipe inside and out with paper towels to dry well. Trim the fins if desired. Season salt and pepper on both sides.
- Place the fish on a big plate. Season with salt and pepper on the both sides and inside, topped with shredded ginger and half of the chopped spring onion.
- Heat water in a wok/steamer until you see steam releasing. Place the fish in wok and steam the fish over high heat for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Test with a chopstick inserted into the thickest part, the flesh near the top fin. If the chopstick easily gets through, the fish is cooked. Otherwise, add more cooking time, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Note: The cooking time depends on the thickness of your fish. Make sure there’s enough water for steaming. Or replenish water if necessary.)
- When the fish is done, carefully lift the plate up and discard all/part of the fish sauce in the plate. Turn off the heat. Then put back in the wok, sprinkle the rest of spring onion, cover. In the meantime, heat up about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When smoke arises, pour the hot oil over the fish. Drizzle with soy sauce, or served with any dipping sauce you like.
Other recipes of steaming fish:
- Chinese Steamed Fish Recipe – Steamy Kitchen (with detailed tips and guide)
- How to Steam Fish Filllet (uneven thickness) and whole fish - Teczcape