“Appetizing Fish in Sour, Sweet Savory and Spicy Broth”
“Teochew” cuisine is well known for its Seafood and Poultry dishes. Its uses minimal seasoning enhancers and focus on freshness and quality of the ingredients; and is definitely a celebrated source of healthy and light dishes. As a delicate cuisine, oil usage is also very minimal and often emphasize on cooking techniques such as poaching, steaming and braising. Teochew cuisine originated from Chaoshan, a region of China in the easternmost area of the Guangdong Province.
Steamed fish is definitely one of many favorite dishes among the Chinese as it is healthy, delicious and really very easy to prepare. One of them such dish is “Teochew Steamed Pomfret”. This Teochew style is very different from the usual Cantonese-style steamed fish (milder in flavor), a version tat often served in most Chinese restaurants. The unique Sour, Savory and Spicy broth is the essence of the dish, which makes this dish extremely appetizing and addictive. Here’s The VianD’s take on “Teochew Steamed Pomfret“.
• Medium size Pomfret. Properly clean and marinate with Salt for a couple of hrs. Score the side of the fish for even steaming.
• Traditionally, this dish is often prepared with Silver Pomfret or Grouper or the popular “Pak Sou Gong (Ikan Baung)” which has a more tender meat texture. The VianD was stuck with a Black Pomfret so Black Pomfret, it is..😉! Well, not a cardinal sin to use Black Pomfret.
• Lots of finely julienned Ginger and some sliced Garlic. Sliced soaked Salted Veggies.
• Sour Plum – mashed with a little water. U can add more if U want a stronger flavor.
• U can add a few Chili Padi (Birdseye Chili) just for some kick – The VianD opted out on this.
• Sliced Tomatoes and sliced semi-hard WhiteTofu.
• Smashed Ginger and Scallion (the white part – in abt 2-3 inches long). Not in the picture.
• U can even add some sliced soaked Shitake and some julienned lean Pork. The VianD opted out on these.
• A mixture of Light Soy, Oyster Sauce, Sugar and a dash of Sesame oil, Shaoxing Wine and White Pepper.
• While U can flavor the Fish before steaming but it is almost impossible to get the correct balance of Sourness, Sweetness and Savory – due to the unpredictable amount of water produced from steaming. Plus, the level of saltiness and sourness of the Salted Veggie/Sour Plum could vary from each batch. So, The VianD do a mixture of the above sauce and pour over the cooked Fish (adjustable by amount) to ensure the flavors are well-balanced to preference. The sauce will also give a little color (body) to the otherwise grayish broth.
STEP 1 :
• In a slightly deepen plate, start by arranging the Tofu in a layer. Follow by the sliced Tomatoes and sliced Garlic. Put the smashed Scallion and Ginger in the middle.
• Put the butterflied Pomfret on top over the smashed Scallion and Ginger. Sprinkle the julienned Ginger, Salted Veggie and Sour Plam all over the Fish.
• Now, The VianD was trying to be creative by placing the Fish (butterflied side down). On hindsight, placing the Fish on its side as it is usually done is a better presentation option..😂.
STEP 2 :
• Boil a pot of water till bubbling hot.
• Steam the Fish for abt 8-15 mins – depending on the size of the Fish and the heat. DO NOT oversteam, overcooked Fish will be tough!
• When the Fish is done, add the prepared sauce bit by bit – taste as U go along to preferred balance flavors. Garnish and ur plate of Sour, Sweet and Savory “Teochew Steamed Pomfret” is ready to be served HOT IMMEDIATELY!