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good fish for steaming

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i would like to steam some fish with ginger/scallion/garlic/soy for a largish dinner party. i have a huge steamer so the amount is not an issue, but i am wondering what fish to choose. i'd normally do whole fish but that might be too fussy for the party and chilean seabass (yes, guilty) and black cod might put me in debt! any other ideas for what would work well?

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  1. I love salmon....but halibut works well in the method you describe. Martin Yan I believe has used whole red snapper; a friend of mine uses whole tilapia.

    2 Replies
    1. re: thegolferbitch

      Snapper is far better than tilapia, IMHO.

      1. re: thegolferbitch

        Second halibut. I'm not a fan of *fishy fish* so I steer toward the milder flavors. Too bad chilean seabass is no more... really loved that poor guy. Branzino is a good option too, as evidenced by its proliferation across dinner menus.

      2. Almost any white fish will do. I steam fish a lot and have used all kinds. Big bucks not needed. Add a few drops of toasted sesame oil when serving; or as an altetrnative, superheat a bit more soy and the sesame oil and pour over the fish when the platter is on the table in front of thte guests. Whole fish is OK, but you may need one person to cut pieces and separate them from the bones (and if you're Asian, you know not to turn the fish over, but to remove the spine and both rows of bones prior to serving the other side of the fish).

        1. Sea bass is my favorite, but I agree with the poster above who said any whitefish will do. Red Snapper works like a charm with the ingredients you mentioned.

          1. Your recipe is similar to a steamed Seabass I tried at a Japanese restaurant in Chicago/Nohana at Broadway and Barry.

            Great choice for an entree...it's absolutely delicious.

            Yes, I agree that Red Snapper would work as well.

            1. Red snapper, with some slashes diagonally across the top. Add fermented black bean to your seasonings. Finish with a drizzle of smoking hot sesame oil.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rexmo

                I would actually stay away from the smoking hot sesame oil because of it's low burn temperature. Use instead a peanut/vegetable oil that can take the higher heat. Definetly use the hot oil though, cuts out the unpleasant "fishy-ness". Uncooked sesame oil over top won't hurt though.

                1. re: SkinnyChef

                  Again, heat the toasted sesame oil with a bit of soy sauce and/or other liquid. The objective is that final savory "burn" of the steamed fish.

              2. My favorite is seabass and red snapper, but flounder will also do as nicely.

                1. I prefer bass (sea, largemouth, smallmouth, striped...doesn't matter) or any rockfish, but I've even done catfish this way and it turns out great.

                  1. I think I would do salmon, I'm not a snapper fan, for some reason I get too much fishy smell and I have tried it over and over again, it's just my nose!

                    1. The best one in Cantonese Cuisine is called Mancho. This is suppose to be the classic one for steaming.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: designerboy01

                        When I do a whole steamed fish, I am pretty flexible with the fish that I use because I don't live near the ocean (I have visions that people that live on either coast have fresh fish readily available - please don't burst my bubble if its not true). Basically, I go to the local fish place (or chinese grocery store - better prices!) and pick the white-fleshed fish that looks the freshest (i.e. clear eyes, red gills). I've had good luck with pickerel, bass (any variety) and grouper (if you like a firmer fish). I julienne green onions and ginger and scatter it over the cooked fish. I heat some soy sauce and oil (usually canola, but any light oil with high smoke point will do), and just before serving, I pour the soy sauce over the fish and then finish with the hot oil over top. I tend to not use sesame oil as I think that the strong flavor overwhelms the delicate fish. As the cook, I always have first dibs on the fish cheeks!

                        1. re: mightycheesehead

                          How about a surf pearch. that is a nice size, cleans up good very tasty.

                      2. Any fish you like should do well. But for steaming, I like swordfish.