Saturday, April 3, 2010

Steamed Red Snapper w/ Laksa Paste Sauce

Today, I woke up and was inspired by another food blogger  Rasa Malaysia. Her recipes are quite easy and the food looks really good on the photos. She cooks a variety of Asian food which is one of my main goal when I started my food blog - COOK A VARIETY OF FOOD! Living in the Bay Area, I have learned to enjoy and appreciate all the different types of food. It is one of the most diverse part of California. So my blog will not just be about Asian food recipes, it will be food recipes from around the world! Rasa's FB status caught my attention and directed me to her main blog. Seafood got stuck in my head!

After I got up and dropped off my daughter at the train station to go to work, I decided to visit my favorite Asian store and bought a variety of fish, meat, vegetables, beans and paste. I bought so much stuff I couldn't decide what to cook first! After putting away all the groceries, I decided to cook one of the red snapper while it's still fresh.

I have a Burmese friend who used to tell me that it's really easy steaming fish. All you need is a wok, a plate and boiling water. I thought, well, why not do that! I have always wanted to try it myself so this will be my first time steaming a fish. I took out my wok that I haven't use in a while. Then I searched online for a good recipe. Most of the recipes I found were indeed quite simple but none of them got me excited enough to borrow. So I have decided once again to make my own recipe for the sauce.

After a successful first try of the steamed fish, I know I'm going to cook my fish this way more often than having it fried or baking it. The sauce I made is intensely delish!


1 whole fresh red snapper (about 2 lbs and already cleaned from the fish market)
1 medium size yellow onion diced
1/2 bunch of green onions chopped
2 inch size fresh ginger and thinly sliced
2 tablespoon Laksa paste
2 tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce
6 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 lemon
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
6 tablespoon liquid from steamed fish


Boil about 5 inches of water in the wok and add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. In the meantime, rinse the fish thoroughly and pat dry. Stuff the fish cavity with 1/4 of the chopped onion, 1/4 of green onions and 1/4 of the ginger.  Make two diagonal cuts along the body of the fish (the fleshy part) on both sides.

Put the fish on a large plate and place it on the wire stand in the wok with the water boiling. cover and steam on high heat for about 25 minutes – the water in the steamer should be boiling before the fish goes in, and the duration stated for steaming should start only from that moment.

Note: The bigger the fish, the longer it takes . Do not over-steam as the meat will become tough.


In a frying pan, heat the rest of sesame oil. Add the remaining ginger and the yellow onion and cook until fragrant. Add the remaining green onions, the laksa paste, garlic chile sauce, half of the lemon juice, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Stir all together and cook for about 5 minutes in medium heat then turn off and leave in the pan.

When the fish is done, take out from the wok slowly as the plate will be very hot. Scoop out 6 tablespoon of the liquid from the plate and add it to the sauce in the pan. Turn the stove back on low and stir the liquid with the sauce and cook for about 2 minutes.

Arrange the steamed fish on a large serving plate and pour the sauce all over the fish. Squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon all over the fish. Serve right away with steamed rice. ENJOY!

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