Steamed Scallion Ginger Fish Fillets with Bok Choy

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My husband Roger and I have a favorite sushi restaurant (shout out to Sushi Yama in St. Charles, IL), and everything on the menu is so wonderful that it’s usually hard to decide what to order.  We generally order a favorite roll or two along with what I refer to as small dishes or sushi “tapas.”

The restaurant does offer main entrées, but the sushi rolls and small dishes are so enticing that it was a long time before we ever tried an entrée—but, when we did, we were hooked on the meal, a delicious steamed fillet of sole with ginger, scallions, and a tasty drizzle of wine sauce .  This presented a dilemma because if we thought it was hard to decide on what to order before it became that much more difficult once we tasted this steamed fillet of sole.

Even though I’ve made sushi before, it would be difficult for me to duplicate all of the small dishes we like so much.  So, the steamed fish presented an easier challenge.  Once I did a bit of research, I learned that steaming is a common way for Chinese to cook fish; and I found lots of recipes for the fish and cooking technique.  Additionally, the presentation is striking and compares favorably to any restaurant’s.

I settled on an epicurious recipe which included a delicious bok choy stir fry as an accompaniment.  We thought the dish was simply outstanding and quite frantastic.

Now that I can duplicate this fabulous meal, Roger and I can once again concentrate on which of our favorite sushi rolls we want next time we visit Sushi Yama.

One year ago:  Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Two years ago:  Make-ahead Oatmeal

Steamed Scallion Ginger Fish Fillets with Bok Choy

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Ingredients for Fish

  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tbl. sugar
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 1/8 tsp. five-spice powder
  • 2 pounds sole fillet, cut into 8 pieces (or 2 lbs. of any flaky white fish)
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, finely julienned
  • 6 tbl. vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), cut crosswise into 2-inch lengths, then thinly julienned lengthwise
  • Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy (ingredients and directions follow)

Ingredients for Bok Choy

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby bok choy
  • 2 tbl. peanut oil
  • 1 (1/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tsp.)
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

Directions for Fish

In medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, and five-spice powder.

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Transfer fish to 2 rimmed plates.  (Instead of using rimmed plates, I used parchment paper which I folded around to enclose the fish because I have a large flat steamer insert.  It worked very well.)  Drizzle each piece with 1 tablespoon soy sauce mixture and scatter with julienned ginger.  (Set remaining sauce aside for finishing dish.)  Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.

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Fit large saucepan with flat steamer basket, fill with 1 inch water, and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and transfer 1 plate to steamer basket.  Cover and steam 4 minutes.  Without lifting lid, turn off flame and allow residual heat to finish cooking until fish is just cooked through, about 1 minute more.  Carefully remove plate (keep warm in oven).  Return water in steamer to boil, transfer second plate to steamer, and steam remaining fish in same manner.

While fish is steaming, in small saucepan over moderate heat, heat vegetable oil.  Keep warm.

Divide fish among 4 plates and top with julienned scallions.  Pour splash of hot oil over each dish.  Serve immediately with bok choy.

Directions for Bok Choy

Trim 1/4 inch from bottom of each head of bok choy.  Slice bok choy crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.  Wash bok choy in several changes of cold water and dry in colander or salad spinner until dry to touch.

In wok or large sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking.  Add ginger, scallions, and garlic and stir-fry until aromatic, about 15 seconds.  Add bok choy, salt, sugar, and pepper and stir-fry 1 minute.  Add 1 tablespoon water, cover, and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds.  Uncover, stir-fry 5 seconds, then cover again, turn off flame, and let steam in residual heat until just tender, about 30 seconds more.  Serve immediately.

IMG_4741 (575x383)Fran’s Notes

Quantity of first 4 ingredients has been cut in half.  There was way too much soy sauce mixture left over the first time we made it.

Notes from the epicurious site

This fish is steamed on plates, which hold the marinade and juices around the fillets.  Be sure that the plates you use have enough of a rim to hold some liquid, and are not larger in diameter than the pan you’ll be using to steam.

In order to fit the plate on top of the steamer, you’ll need a steamer basket that’s flat all the way across, without a central protrusion.  Many Asian bamboo and stainless-steel steamers have this shape but, if you don’t have one, you can substitute a ramekin:  Simply place the ramekin on the bottom of the pan, fill the pan with water just to the height of the ramekin, and place the plate on top of the ramekin.IMG_4747 (575x383)

Source:  Adapted from an epicurious recipe

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