I first ate something like this in a fusion Chinese restaurant and tasting the flavours, thought I’d try to replicate the dish. It came out well the first try. One of those freaky usually never-to-happen-to-me things that just made me feel all happy happy inside. It was well appreciated by everyone in the family and two kilos of the dish got polished off at a party and embarrassingly, ran short. So I guess it was a hit.
This dish is very light, has subtle flavours that blend well together and the good part, you can completely skip the oil if you want, though that would hardly make a difference because it would be a measly 1/3 of a tablespoon of oil per head if you look at six people sharing the dish. When the dish is steamed, the fish releases a lot of water so you don’t have to add any to it before steaming. Invest in a steamer, it comes in handy for many other dishes. I have two metal steamers. one a medium size which is used to make dumplings and small dishes for the house and a large sized one to fit large dishes and make food for larger gatherings.
It’s quick, fuss-free and tastes delicious. Try it.
1 kg basa fish fillets
2 tbsp vegetable oil (optional)
2 heaped tbsp finely diced garlic
1.5 inch root of ginger julienned (sliced into thin long sticks)
2 spring onions chopped into fine rounds
2 large sweet red chillies sliced finely and diagonally
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Shao Hsing wine
1 tsp sugar
- Do not add any salt. There is enough in the soya and oyster sauces.
Get Started (Pictorial steps below)
- Cut the basa fish fillets into 2 inch pieces and place along the bottom of a baking dish. Drizzle the oil all over the fish making sure the undersides get coated too. (Oil is optional).
- Sprinkle the garlic all over the fish evenly, then add the ginger, then the spring onions and the chillies.
- In a separate bowl, mix the oyster sauce, soya sauce, Shao Hsing wine and sugar together till the sugar has totally dissolved. Pour evenly with a tablespoon all over the fish and aromatics. Cover the dish with cling film and keep in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You can even keep it overnight if you want.
- Remove the cling film and place the dish in a steamer when the water has already started boiling. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the steamer and steam for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the dish from the steamer and serve immediately. This dish is best eaten straight off the heat.