I truly eat with eyes first! After watching a video of a restaurant serving a giant steamed fish, I immediately felt the need to eat some, lol. It doesn’t have to be a humongous fish obviously…..in fact, I find fillets to be extremely convenient to steam. Yum!
4 frozen tilapia fillets, do not have to thaw
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 stalks green onions, cut into 2 inches length and julienned (keep the white/lighter green sections separate from the dark green)
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
A couple thin slices of ginger, julienned
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Note: After trying different “fresh” fish from various stores/seafood counters over the years, I find frozen fish fillets to still be the better option where I live. Often, I find that they taste fresher than their supposedly “fresh” counterparts. Occasionally, I would be able to find a super fresh whole fish at an Asian grocer and that would be an absolute treat!
Prepare your steamer – I use a large paella pan with lid, and for the rack, just take a couple long sheets of foil and crumple them into a rope and shape it into a ring. Then, place the foil ring in the pan and fill the pan with water up to about the height of the ring. Remove the ring (set aside for now) and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
In the meantime, place tilapia fillets in a shallow, heatproof dish. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and top with white/lighter green sections of the green onions. In a small frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and stir-fry the julienned ginger until golden brown and pour over the fish (this step is optional – you can just top the fish with raw ginger but I love the mellow but still aromatic flavor of cooked ginger). When water has come to a boil, place the foil in the pan (do your best to keep it the center of the pan using a pair of tongs), and carefully place the dish on the foil “rack.” Close the pan and steam for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through but still tender.
While the fish is cooking, make the broth/sauce – combine chicken broth, light soy sauce, and sugar in a small saucepan and heat the mixture over medium heat until hot. In the same frying pan you use to cook the ginger earlier, heat 1-1/2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking (if it gets too hot, turn off heat).
When the fish is done, gently transfer the fish (excluding the liquid) to another dish with a spatula, sprinkle top with the dark green sections of the green onions and drizzle with sesame oil. Carefully pour the hot oil over the green onions and fish, it will make a sizzling sound. Finally, pour the hot broth/sauce over the fish. Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!