Steamed Whole Fish

Course : Fish
Serves: 6
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2 pounds whole fish -- (cleaned weight) rock cod -- flounder, pomfret
2 teaspoons salt
4 medium scallions
1 tablespoon ginger slivers
1 cup stock
1 tablespoon dry gin
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch paste
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 sprig Chinese parsley

Preparation / Directions:

For more people, use more than one fish. Each fish should be no more than 2 lbs. unless you have a very large steamer. Have your fishmonger clean and scale fish, leaving head and fins intact. You can tell if fish is fresh by the clearness of the eyes and a red tint on the inner edge of the gills. Wash and pat dry, rub with salt. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. On both sides of fish, make parallel diagonal cuts 1" apart through meaty section. Trim and shred scallions diagonally in 2" lengths. Peel and shred fresh ginger root. Place pieces of scallion and ginger in cuts. Place fish on greased plate. Steam at rapid boil for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on size. Fish is cooked when you can flake flesh. Overcooking will toughen flesh, so watch closely. Heat peanut oil in beaker or small saucepan. In wok, heat stock, gin and sugar. When fish is cooked, remove from steamer. Drain juices into stock mixture. Thicken slightly with cornstarch paste. Pour hot oil, then stock mixture, over fish. Garnish with Chinese parsley. Serve.

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