Steamed whole snapper with black beans and chilli

This recipe also works well with fish fillets.
This recipe also works well with fish fillets. Photo: William Meppem

Ask your fishmonger to scale and gut the fish for you. A plate-sized fish fits comfortably within a domestic bamboo steamer and of course, you can apply this same recipe to fish fillets.

Ingredients

1 x 550g whole snapper, scaled, gutted and cleaned

5cm x 3cm knob (25g) ginger, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

2 tbsp salted black beans

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tsp white sugar

3 tbsp shao hsing wine or dry sherry

2 tbsp light soy sauce

½ cup sea parsley, leaf only (substitute with two spring onions, finely sliced, if you cannot find sea parsley)

2 tbsp peanut oil

Method

1. Bring a large saucepan or wok of hot water to the boil.

2. Pat fish dry with kitchen paper and place on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife, make four diagonal slits on one side of the fish. Turn fish over and repeat on other side.

3. Place fish in a shallow heatproof bowl that will fit inside a steamer basket. Combine ginger, garlic, black beans, chilli flakes and sugar in a bowl and spread mixture evenly over the fish, pressing it into the slits. Pour wine or sherry over the entire fish.

4. Place bowl inside steamer and cover with the lid. Position over the pan or wok of boiling water and steam for eight minutes or until fish is cooked. The flesh should be white; if it is still translucent, cook for another minute or so.

5. Carefully transfer the cooked fish to a serving platter. Pour all the cooking juices over the fish, along with the soy sauce, and scatter with sea parsley leaves.

6. Heat oil in a small saucepan until smoking hot, then pour over the fish to scald and sear the sea parsley. Serve immediately.

Serve with my roasted, caramel pork and fried rice with king prawns for a Chinese New Year feast, or build your own banquet from these lucky 88 recipes.