What to buy
- A whole fish (including head and tail)! Its eyes should be clear and pupil dark if it is fresh. Or get one that’s still swimming and have it freshly slaughtered.
How to cook
- Wash the fish
- Rub the fish with salt (and white pepper if fish wasn’t freshly slaughtered)
- Line the bottom of a plate with a small handful chopped scallions (half or single inch segments is fine) and ginger slices
- Put the fish on top, and sprinkle some more thin slices of ginger on top of that. If the fish is too long for the plate, as it is in the picture above, you may have to cut it into two.
- Steam the plated fish over a bath of water in a closed-lid container/wok/pot. Timing varies depending on size of fish – a one-foot fish should steam for 12-15 minutes for example.
- When the fish is almost done steaming, heat up some oil in a small pan or pot
- When the oil is hot or simmering, add in some chopped scallions and have it sizzle for fifteen seconds
- Pour in some soy sauce, wait it to boil, and then add a spoonful of sugar and let it melt (alternately you can directly pour in steamed fish soy sauce and skip having to add sugar)
- Open the lid for the steaming fish, pour out some of the liquid that’s accumulated at the bottom of the plate, and then pour the scalding hot soy sauce + oil all over the fish.
About the author
Jason Li is a Hong Kong-based cartoonist and designer. He is the author of The House on Horse Mountain, an upcoming graphic novel about a young girl growing up in a bygone Hong Kong of the 1960s, and creator of Add Oil Comics, a social advocacy webcomic. Integrating elements of social science, illustration and social media, his works have been appeared at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Asian Art Museum, on the BBC, and on the radio in Spain.
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