This dish is a family-style favorite when it comes to Cantonese cooking. There’s a balance between the mildness of a fresh fish, and the pungent garlic-scallion-ginger sauce that gets poured on top of it. If you’d like, add some cilantro to garnish. Ask your fishmonger to gut and descale the fish for you, so the rest of the prep is a breeze.
- Set up your steaming apparatus: fill a wok with a few inches of water and place a metal steaming rack inside for a heatproof plate to rest on. The water should not go higher than the top of the metal rack. Before placing the fish on the plate, turn stove to medium heat and make sure steam is generating.
- Place the fish on the plate inside of the wok, cover with a wok lid, and steam for 10 minutes.
- While the fish is steaming, prepare the sauce in a small saucepan. First, saute half of the julienned ginger and all of the garlic with a bit of canola oil. Make sure it does not burn. After 2-3 minutes, add the water, sugar, and soy sauce and let simmer.
- Once simmering, add in ⅓ of the julienned scallions and canola oil. Turn off the heat.
- After 10 minutes, check a portion of the fish and see if the flesh easily flakes with a fork. It should be a milky, opaque white with translucent bones. If not, cover for one or two more minutes.
- Place the cooked fish in a shallow dish for serving. Top with the rest of the julienned ginger and scallions. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the fish, and serve immediately.
Tatiana Bautista is a freelance writer based in New York.