Steamed Bass

Chinese Steamed Fish

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  • 1 whole bass (about 680g, cleaned; see instructions)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger (finely julienned)
  • 2 scallions (finely julienned with green and white parts separated)
  • 8 sprigs fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons of Wilson’s Avocado Oil (plus 2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce (or seasoned soy sauce)
  • Fresh ground white pepper to taste


Prepping the Fish:

Remove any scales from your fish using a serrated steak knife. The areas to look for are the belly and the edges of the fish including the top, near the dorsal fins, and the head.

Cut off any fins with kitchen shears. This can be a bit difficult, so be careful with this step. Leave the tail and head intact for presentation.

Next step is the cavity – you should see the backbone. You may also see a membrane. Pierce and cut the membrane to reveal a blood line near the bone. Run your finger or a spoon across it to clean it thoroughly.

Check the head and gills. You should not see any gills left, and if there are, remove them with the kitchen shears and rinse the area clean.

Give the fish a final rinse, shake off the excess water (no need to pat it dry) and transfer to a heat-proof plate for steaming. Very Important Note: Do not use any salt, seasoning, or wine on the fish before steaming!

Creating the Dish:

If you are feeling brave and inventive, you can apparently improvise a steaming apparatus that will work to steam the fish.

Take a heat resistant, rectangular serving plate, a wok and metal steam rack. If you need more height to keep the plate above the water in the wok, set a rack on top of a metal can with both ends removed.

Steam for 9 minutes and turn off the heat. Use a butter knife to peek at the meat and confirm the fish is cooked through. The meat should be opaque down to the bone, but the bone should be slightly translucent and not fully cooked (remember, you will not be eating the bone. Trust me on this one!).

Next, carefully pour off all of the liquid accumulated on the plate from steaming and spread half of the ginger, the green portions of the scallion, and the cilantro over the fish.

Heat 2 tablespoons Wilson’s Avocado Oil and the other half of the ginger in a saucepan until the ginger begins to sizzle. Next, add the water, salt, sugar, soy sauce, and fresh ground white pepper and heat the mixture until simmering.

Once simmering, add the rest of the Wilson’s Foods Avocado Oil and white portions of the scallion and stir until the liquid begins to simmer and sizzle once again. Spoon the entire mixture evenly over the fish, top with coriander and serve immediately!

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