February 27, 2010 5 Comments
This is a recipe from my friend, Edge. I’ll leave you to enjoy it, but I feel there are a few references I should explain. BBC in this context, does not mean our favourite broadcaster but rather British Born Chinese. Gweilo means, well, white person. And, as the owner of this blog, I cannot definitively promise that eating sea bass will bring you luck at the poker table, but since that’s where I met him, and he has stacked me often enough, I’ll go along with it. Enjoy.
Steamed fish is a simple, popular, Chinese dish. For the BBC in me, it brings back memories of returning home on a cold evening, to be greeted by the smell fresh fish steaming in a rice cooker. Eating fish this way is very traditional, and known to bring luck to all who consume it, especially if they are of Chinese descent. In this modern age, it is particularly good for Poker players, though modern geeks also like to use statistics and software, as described at Poker Software and Analysis.
Unfortunately, this delight is rarely sampled by the Gweilo, as it is not readily available from takeaways and is expensive in restaurants. However, it can be easily cooked at home with non oily fishes such as trout, lemon sole or sea bass.
- Fresh whole Sea Bass, Rainbow Trout or Lemon Sole
- Spring Onion (a small bunch)
- Ginger (2″ chunk)
- Soy Sauce
Buy a fresh fish from your local fishmonger. Choose a fish with bright eyes and shiny skin. If it does not meet this criteria then it is not fresh, so don’t buy it. Ask your fish monger to clean, gut and descale the fish. Be careful of young girls in supermarkets doing this, as they have been known to destroy rather than gut fish efficiently.
Back home, use a knife to gently remove remaining scales. Check the cavity for any remaining blood and guts, removing them by hand under a slow running cold tap. Also remove any loose bones. Pat the fish dry, and rub a generous amount of salt into the skin and exposed flesh within the cavity.
Cut the ginger into matchstick sizes strips. Cut the spring onion into inch long sections.
Take half of the ginger and spring onion. Put half of it into your cooking implement of choice (e.g. steaming basket, or metallic dish). Place the fish onto this (you may need to cut it in half if the fish is too long). Stuff the fish with a third of the ginger and spring onion. Cover the fish with the rest.
Steam the fish for 12 minute. You can do it in a covered wok, rice cooker, or one of those steaming baskets that you place on top of saucepans. Any steaming device will do. When the fish is cooked, remove it from the steamer and place it on a dish.
Heat a wok up to a very high temperature. Pour some sunflower oil into the wok and let it heat. Then add the remaining ginger and spring onion, tossing it around quickly for about a minute. Then add a generous sprinkling of soy sauce. Remove the heat, and pour this garnish onto the fish. Serve with plain white rice and stir fried vegetables. Make sure you say grace and pray to the Poker gods beforehand.