WhenKen Hom hosts his own dinner parties, he keeps things simple.
The chef, who introduced many people to Chinese food for the first time with the 1984 BBC show Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery, says you shouldn’t get stressed in the kitchen.
“I say never make a dish you’ve never made before. Make a tried and true dish you know you can do.”
With Chinese New Year on February 19, it’s time to get practising with this tasty dish.
steamed fish cantonese style
450g firm white fish fillets, such as cod, sole or salmon fillets, or a whole fish, such as sole or turbot
1tsp coarse sea salt or plain salt
11/2tbsp fresh ginger, shredded
For the garnish:
3tbsp spring onions, finely shredded
2tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp groundnut oil
2tsp sesame oil
Fresh coriander sprigs
If you are using a whole fish, remove the gills. Pat the fish or fish fillets dry with kitchen paper. Rub with the salt on both sides, and then set aside for 30 minutes. This helps the flesh to firm up and draws out any excess moisture.
Next, set up a steamer, or put a rack into a wok or deep pan and fill it with 5cm of water. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Put the fish on a heatproof plate and scatter the ginger evenly over the top. Put the plate of fish into the steamer or onto the rack.
Cover the pan tightly and gently steam the fish until it is just cooked. Flat fish will take about five minutes to cook. Thicker fish or fillets such as sea bass will take 12-14 minutes.
Remove the plate of cooked fish and sprinkle on the spring onions and soy sauce.
Heat the two oils together in a small saucepan. When they are hot and smoking, pour the hot oil on top of the fish, garnish with the coriander sprigs and serve at once.