Thursday, January 5, 2012

Steamed Garoupa in Soy Sauce

My BIL from Kota Kinabalu recently gave us a box of frozen seafood, and in it were 2 garoupas and 2 boxes of prawns. 

Look at me~~~ ain't I sexy~~~

Now we've never really steamed such a large fish in the house before. So hubby and I figured, lets give it a shot. As the fish was frozen fresh, a simple soy sauce recipe should do the trick to bring out the freshness of the fish. I did some Googling and found this recipe from

One whole garoupa, about 700gm
Some salt
2 tbps cooking oil
Ginger (some thick slices for steaming, julienne some for garnishing)
Scallions (spring onions)
Cilantro leaves for garnishing

Soy sauce mix:
2 tbps soy sauce
2 tbps SHAOXING wine or rice wine (I personally prefer SHAOXING wine, more aromatic)
1/4 tps sesame oil
3 dashes white pepper powder
2 tbps rock sugar (grind to powder)

FYI, we did not have rock sugar with us then, so I replaced it with some molasses, so the overall taste might differ slightly. Apparently the rock sugar is the secret to making the soy sauce so yummy and addictive (just like in those Chinese restaurants), you can practically have the sauce with a bowl of white rice. Also, the quality of the soy sauce you use could also make a difference. We were using a relatively good quality soy sauce from Knife, which was a little thicker than usual, so I had to reduce the quantity slightly and added a bit of water.

Clean the fish and gut it nicely, pat it dry. Using your kitchen knife, slice the belly at an angle to create an opening to put the ginger slices in. If it's a big and thick fish, I suggest you slice the belly twice on both sides, it also helps to cook the fish faster. Rub some salt over the fish and place the ginger slices and scallions inside the belly area. 

Fill a wide wok with water and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, place the fish in and steam for about 10mins (a little longer if your fish is really thick). When the fish is cooked, pour the remaining fish water away. Some people might say to reuse the water, but I personally think it's too fishy to be used.

Heat up the oil until it's smoking, then pour the oil over the fish. Then, heat up the soy sauce mix until it bubbles and pour it onto the fish. Garnish and serve.

This was the outcome, our first steamed garoupa in soy sauce. Taste was quite passable haha! The first time we steamed the fish, we found the soy sauce a wee bit strong, so the 2nd time I steamed the fish, I reduced the soy sauce a bit. But I forgot to add the SHAOXING wine, so the overall taste wasn't quite there -__-"
Never the less, will continue to perfect this dish :)