Steamed Whole Walleye or Black Sea Bass (Shanghai Style)
Steaming is one of the simplest and gentlest methods of fish preparation. It allows the fish’s natural flavor to take center stage.
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. whole walleye, or black sea bass, cleaned. Substitutes: red snapper, mangrove snapper or porgy
2 T black bean sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t grated fresh ginger
3 scallions, sliced lengthwise (place in a bowl of ice water to firm them up)
1 T chopped cilantro
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 T sesame oil
To prepare a whole fish for steaming:
Score fish on one side with diagonal slices at 1 inch intervals, just deep enough to pierce the skin.
Steaming equipment: Use a bamboo steamer placed in a wok—or improvise with placing fish on a plate. (I broke the center post off my vegetable steamer and it works great!) A good steamer is anything that accommodates the fish, keeps it above the water, and has a tight fitting lid to keep the steam from escaping.
To steam: Bring 2 inches of water to a full boil. Position the steaming rack over the water. Then place scored fish on rack and coat with black bean sauce. Sprinkle with garlic and ginger. Cover with lid and steam for 15-20 minutes or until fish is opaque to the bone at its thickest part.
To serve: Place the whole fish on a serving platter and garnish with scallions and cilantro.
An optional flair for this dish: Prepare a hot garlic oil by heating 1/4 c vegetable oil and 2 cloves crushed garlic. Cook 1 additional minute, then remove garlic with a slotted spoon. Add 1 T sesame oil at the end. At this point the oil should be hot and the fish should have just finished steaming. Put whole fish on serving platter, carefully pour hot oil over it, then garnish as above and serve.