Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Steamed Salmon with Soy and Ginger

This must be the first time ever that I’m blogging about tonight’s dinner. I’m so impressed with it I feel like I have to write about it now. Generally, I only put successful cooking attempts up here so please don’t take it the wrong way when I keep saying this recipe rocks my socks. I usually get very excited when a cooking attempt (especially one where I didn’t consult any recipe) turns out well.

I bought a really nice piece of sashimi-grade salmon from Queen Victoria Market on Thursday, intending to turn it into sashimi to serve with cold somen. That didn’t work out because I ended up forgetting the fish in the work fridge and so it ended up being a day old and I just wasn’t sure if I should be eating a day old fish raw. Since we went out for such a huge meal last I wanted something simple so I decided on steaming it. I have had it a few times in Chinese restaurants and I thought I could try to replicate it.

Without further ado, steamed salmon for two:

  1. 350 g. salmon fillet
  2. 2 tbsp of julienned ginger
  3. 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water and sliced
  4. 1 bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and sliced
  5. 2 spring onions, white stalks chopped, green leaves sliced lengthwise to curl (see pic)
  6. 3 stalks of coriander, leaves only
  7. 1 tbsp of shao hsing rice wine
  8. 1 tbsp of oyster sauce
  9. 1 tbsp of seafood seasoning soy sauce*
  10. 3 pinches of sugar
  11. 1 tsp of sesame oil

First things first, you need to make up your own steamer if you don’t already have something suitable. I placed the fish in a baking dish and then place it in a pan. The most important thing is that the lid must fit tightly and there must be room between the fish and the lid. If you have a steamer that fits, perfect. If you don’t, improvise. Pour boiling water just so that it fills up no more than half way of the container with food in it so that when the water boils, it won’t slosh into your food. Keep the water boiling and make sure the lid stays on tight so most of the steam doesn’t escape.

Mix soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and shao hsing. Pour over the salmon. Scatter ginger, mushrooms and white stalk part of the spring onions. Steam the fish for about 8-10 minutes, depending how cooked you like it. I like it a bit orange in the middle so 8 minutes were perfect. After 8 minutes, sprinkle on sesame oil. Top with spring onions, coriander and chilli. Turn the heat off but place the lid back on and let it rest for another minute. The onion and coriander should wilt but stay green. Serve with rice.

*The quality of soy sauce makes all the difference here. You need light bodied, good quality soy sauce. I have handy the Lee Kum Kee Seafood Seasoning soy sauce which goes extremely well with this dish. I recommend it. It works perfectly as your everyday soy sauce, which is actually what I use since I have yet to find a soy sauce I like more. It is more expensive than your typical soy sauce but I think it’s worth it.