GUNG HAY FAT CHOY—HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!
While it falls on a different day each year, this year Chinese families—and Singaporean, and Filipino, and Thai, and many other Asian families—are looking forward to Saturday, January 25th, to celebrate the Lunar New Year! It also goes by Spring Festival, rolling out the proverbial welcome mat for warm weather and new life to come. Preparations begin days ahead, like sweeping away the dust of the previous year or decorating the walls with lucky red and prosperous gold, and celebrations last over two weeks! Certain varieties of citrus also represent good luck, though you may already have some thanks to our current citrus bounty.
There are at least a few essential dishes when it comes to Lunar New Year. Dumplings, of course, dipped in the umami-rich Lahtt Sauce of your choice; try pairing it with this Bon Appetit dumpling recipe for an authentic taste. When slurping down whole noodles for a long life, make sure you don’t chomp your own lifespan short with noodles made for slurping, like these buckwheat soba noodles. For a main dish that’ll bring you both compliments and abundance, though, our own Angel Li has a fish recipe you won’t want to cook just once. Swing by our whole animal butcher and fish counter and pick up your fish to get started!
1 whole White fish (Like Sea Bass, Tilapia or Red Snapper)
3 stalks of Scallion, green and white parts separated
6 slices Ginger, half to place on top of fish to steam and half Julienned
3 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine, or Mirin.
2 tsp Flake Sea Salt
1/3 cup Chopped Cilantro
3 tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce (optional)
3 tbsp Cooking Oil (optional)
1 thin slice Ginger (optional)
1. Make sure your fish is gutted, descaled and patted dry. Make 3 to 4 cuts on each side of the fish. Rub the fish with cooking wine and then salt. Let it sit for about half hour to a full hour.
2. Chop up or mash the green parts of the scallion, which becomes the bed for the fish. Julienne the white parts and mix with the julienned ginger and cilantro and set aside.
3. Place the fish on top of the scallion bed and insert the ginger slices to the cuts.
4. Place the fish into your choice of steamer, typically a wok with several inches of water and a bowl or rack to elevate the plate is sufficient if you don’t have a steamer.
5. Cover with a lid and steam for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered for another 3 minutes. Check if meat inside the slits are done—meat should be opaque down to the bone, but the bone will be translucent.
6. Remove the fish from the steamer and drain the excess water, then remove the ginger slices and scallions.
7. Top with the julienned ginger, scallions and cilantro.
Optional: Flash Fry Heat up 3 tablespoons cooking oil in a pan and add the slice of ginger to it. When the ginger begins to sizzle, remove from heat and pour it over the fish.
Serve with Red Boat Fish sauce, either poured on top or on the side for dipping.