Asian Steamed Fish

Ben O'Donoghue

Ingredients:

Serves 4-6

  • 1tbsp whole white peppercorns
  • 2tbsp grated fresh turmeric
  • 1 heaped tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 thinly sliced cloves
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus wedges to serve
  • 5 coriander roots (from a fresh bunch)
  • 1kg Ling, scaled, cleaned
  • Sunflower oil, to deep-fry
  • 1 onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 10 dried long red chillies
  • 24 fresh curry leaves

Method:

  1. Pound peppercorns, turmeric, ginger, chopped garlic, juice and coriander roots to a rough paste using a mortar and pestle (or small processor).
  2. Score fish on both sides at 1cm intervals, then rub in paste.
  3. Invert 2 small heat proof plates in the base of a fish kettle or a large flameproof roasting pan.
  4. Pour about 2.5cm of boiling water into the fish kettle (you’ll need to place it over 2 burners).
  5. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place fish on the kettle rack and lower onto plates, ensuring fish isn’t touching water.
  6. Cover with a lid or
 foil and cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on size of the fish (topping up the water if necessary) until cooked through. Carefully remove fish and place on a long platter.
  7. Meanwhile, half-fill a small heavy-based saucepan with oil and heat to 190°c (a cube of bread will turn golden in 30 seconds when hot). Add onion and fry for 1-2 minutes until golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  8. Repeat with sliced garlic for 20 seconds until golden, then with chilli and curry leaves for 30 seconds until crisp. carefully place the fish on a platter, top with fried ingredients and 2tbsp of the hot oil, then serve with lime.

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