Since it was getting quite difficult and expensive to get the local fish – river and sea alike, many restaurants turned to serving imported fish. Initially, we had snow fish…and also what they called Alaskan fish and they were very popular if you went to those full-course Chinese sit-down dinners at the restaurants here. I do not know exactly what fish they were…but lately, we can buy imported fish and cook them ourselves, like cod and halibut.
My missus bought two palm-size slices of halibut plus a small piece that probably came from near the tail of the fish for RM20.00. She intended to cook that for our Chap Goh Meh dinner but I had already bought one HUGE ikan buris (for RM25) for the occasion. So that had to go into the freezer…and last Friday, being a non-meat day for me, I decided to cook it.
It is very easy to steam fish – Chinese style. Just chop some garlic and sprinkle it over the fish – they say this is to remove the fishy smell. Then cut thin long strips of ginger and spread that over the fish too – this is more for the taste. You may add other things that may enhance the taste, if available – chilli, Chinese celery…even tomatoes…like what I did. Some people add salted vegetables and thinly-sliced softened dried Shitake as well. Finally, I diluted a tablespoon of oyster sauce with a tablespoon or two of water and poured that over the fish.
Boil some water in a steamer or a wok and when the water has started boiling, put in the fish (on a rack, if you are using a wok). You should not steam it for too long – around 10 minutes would be just right. Then, you can take it out and serve. There you have it – best eaten when hot!
I also cooked some finely chopped longs beans with egg that day. Just brown some chopped garlic in a bit of oil. I added a few prawns but that is actually optional. Beat two eggs, add salt and msg and pour that into the wok. Once the egg is cooked, the dish is ready…
Well, as you can see, Chinese cooking is also very easy. Not much hassle and very nice to eat! Give it a try!