Ginger soy steamed fish is my simple take on an age old traditional Chinese dish. I've been trying my hand at steaming food lately to reduce the amount of oil I use. This fish recipe happened to be one of the dishes I've always wanted to prepare. Somehow though, the results are never the same. I once heard that Chinese food in the US tastes different from "our" Chinese food in the Caribbean. A difference in ingredients and culture perhaps? Who knows?
Being the sort of Trini cook that I am, I tend to let my Trini tongue lead the way. And, consequently the recipe always echo my Caribbean region in some way. Only in cooking for these past 11 years have I come to terms of my cooking identity. So, no longer am I concerned about not being able to reproduce a recipe exactly as in those foreign cookbooks . Of course, I would still try to get as close as possible to the original provided I could get the ingredients.
My Ginger Soy Steamed Fish Exploration
So, here I was in the kitchen with my fish fillets thawing out and my plan of how I would proceed. I knew exactly the steps for my ginger soy steamed fish, but something happened. As I poured out the soy sauce and added the other ingredients, I felt like I was being guided to adjust the ingredients. This caused me to veer off the beaten path to a little track on my own lol. In the end though, I had my ginger soy sauce. To me it felt bolder, more robust and the taste was really gingery and soy saucy.
I almost added raw pepper, but my mind suggested that it would be too "hot" because of the ginger. I eventually decided against it and continued with my ginger soy steamed fish recipe adventure. As a side note though I opted for a little bit of red chilies.
Then the time time came for steaming. What do you use when you don't have a steamer? You have to improvise. Honestly, I've been using an improvised steamer all these years lol. So now it has become commonplace to just grab a pot, my rice strainer and a pot cover.....
Anyhow, you'll see what else I did that wasn't really Chinese. Here's my ginger soy steamed fish. Enjoy!
GINGER SOY STEAMED FISH
3 fish fillets ( I used swai fillets)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp grated ginger
¼ cup water
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp red chilies
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice cooking wine or rum or cherry brandy
1 tsp cornstarch
1 banana leaf
and sugar in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Wash the fish with the lime. Drain, then add to the ginger soy mixture. Marinate for 20 mins.
Note: This step is reminiscent of when we're making pastelles.
I used the marinade as a sauce by adding the cornstarch and letting it simmer for 1 minute.
Ginger Soy Steamed Fish
- 3 fish fillets I used swai fillets
- 1 lime
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp red chilies
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice cooking wine or rum or cherry brandy
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 banana leaf
- Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, red chilies, ginger, water, rice cooking wine
- and sugar in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Wash the fish with the lime. Drain, then add to the ginger soy mixture. Marinate for 20 mins.
- Singe the banana leaf over an open flame and wrap the fish fillets.
- Place the fish parcels in the steamer. Steam for 15 minutes or until tender.
- Carefully unwrap and enjoy.
While I pause to enjoy my ginger soy steamed fish I invite you to try it out. Mine has literally disappeared lol
Ah gone 🙂