It is very hot in the city at the moment. It is not as humid as New Yorkers would like to believe but even so a constant 36 C is quite interesting. Who knew that my hair could be so unruly? Tom and Daisy have been doing very short trips out to explore, and the aircon in the apartment has been running. Being me, it’s set at 26 C but it is on auto and Dad and I are sleeping under a sheet – one each because it’s really that hot!
Before I give you today’s recipe, I have a couple of photos to share from our recent holiday.
These are Montana flapjacks, the fluffiest pancakes I have ever seen. They have to have been made with buttermilk, but I really don’t know how they were so light. The logo on top is for the ranch we were staying at, Bar N, and would be the mark branded on their cattle. This was Daisy’s breakfast one day.
Tom’s version of the flapjacks, with syrup and bacon. I know this is a North American staple, but I really cannot get my head around the crisp, almost burned, bacon with maple syrup on top.
I made today’s recipe a couple of evenings ago, and it was as good as I remembered. There are a couple of variations which whilst not authentic can make life slightly easier. Today’s recipe is Steamed Fish with Ginger and Spring Onions. This is a dish traditionally served at Chinese New Year, and throughout the rest of the year too. I made it with branzino/sea bass because garoupa isn’t easily found here. Ideally you should keep the head and tail on the fish, but ask the fishmonger to gut, scale and wash it for you. I learned to cook this fish during a cooking course in Hong Kong, and haven’t really changed the recipe, apart from the type of fish and I often omit the Shaoxing wine because I don’t usually have it to hand.
Steamed Fish with Ginger and Spring Onions
6 spring onions (green onions or scallions), peeled, cut in half and julienned
50 g / 2 oz 2 oz fresh ginger, finely julienned
1 sea bass, about 750 g
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
3 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp corn oil
Pat fish dry. Depending on the length of the fish, make three of four diagonal cuts about 5 cms / 2 inches apart into the flesh on both sides.
Put fish onto a plate. Sprinkle salt, wine (if using), soy sauce and oil over. Artfully place (!) ginger and spring onions on top. Cover with foil and steam over a sauce pan for 10-12 minutes.
If you do not feel confident steaming, you can put foil into a baking tray and put the fish onto it. Make a packet around the fish (not too tight) with the foil and bake at 180 F / 375 F for about 15 mins.
Before – with the fish in a baking tray and enough foil around to make a loose parcel.
You can either serve on an ashet/large plate, or serve directly onto plates in the kitchen. Remember not to turn the fish over or a boat will sink!
After – if you’re not avoiding carbs, then you should serve with rice and vegetables and don’t waste any of the sauce.
If you don’t like dealing with bones, you can use fillets of fish instead. I have done this with salmon and cod, both were very tasty. Times will be shorter of course, say, 8-10 mins.