- Black Pomfret is not the ideal Fish for this dish..LoL but The VianD was presented with it so, Black Pomfret it is …ahaha ! Fishes with round-stouted fleshier body shape are more suitable, simply bcos it hold its position better during the poaching process – like Tilapia. In any case, here – we have a washed and cleaned Black Pomfret – scored for even poaching.
- Slightly smashed Garlic, Shallot, sliced Ginger, red Chili, Scallion cut to abt 2-inches long and dried Chili. A tbs of full Black Pepper Corn (better still Sichuan Peppercorn).
- Salt, Sugar, freshly grounded Black pepper, a touch of Oyster sauce and a dash of Sesame oil, Shaoxing wine and water. Mix well. All to taste. ** Note : Just dash/pinch of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice (no rocket scientific measurement here). Always taste your Seasoning !!!
Start by blanching the Fish for few mins. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a few pieces of Scallion and Ginger and a dash of Shaoxing wine (these Ingredients will help getting off any fishy smell). Make sure the Fish is fully submerged. This process will help formed the Fish but not fully cook and get rid of impurities. Be gentle and don’t move the fish too much, U don’t want broken down pieces of Fish ! Gently fish out and set aside.
Meantime, on very low heat, gently heat up a large pot (clay pot or ceramic cookery pot will be perfect) of oil, making sure enough oil to cover at least 3/4 of the Fish. Add half of the Shallot, Ginger, Garlic and dried Chili. Be patient, let it sit till the Ingredients start to (tiny) sizzle for 2-3 mins, giving time for the flavors to be infused into the oil. Gently lay the Fish into the oil and gently poach (with tiny sizzles) it for abt 20-mins, depending on the heat and size of the Fish. Don’t turn or move the Fish. Spoon-bath the Fish constantly. Simply poke with a tiny skewer, if the flesh is white and firm, its cooked. Drain out excess oil, leaving a tbsp or so. U can gently lift the Fish out (as The VianD did) or leave it in the pot, if U like.
Add the rest of the Side Ingredients except sliced red Chili and Scallion. Saute till aromatic. U can fish out the Black peppercorn, if U like cos there can be quite annoying when bitten into..LoL. Add the Sauce mixture and bring to boil, stir to mix well. Gently lay the Fish back into the pot and turn the heat down to simmer for a couple of mins or till sauce render down and thickens slightly. Add sliced red Chilli and Scallion. Cover and turn off the heat, let the residual heat continue heating the Fish. Viola, ur pot of delicate tender silky “Oil Poached Fish (Black Pomfret – The Chinese Way)” is ready to be served hot.