This is an updated version of a recipe from 2007. Nothing has been modified except for the garnish. Back then, I topped the fish with fried garlic and cilantro; in this updated version, I opted for fried garlic, fried shallots and finely sliced scallions. Which is better? They’re both good.
Is it a difficult dish to make? Steaming a whole fish is one of the easiest cooking methods ever. Even the ingredients list is short.
To feed a family of four, you need two large pompano, about 1.2 kilograms in total weight, that have been gutted and scaled. For the sauce, you need soy sauce, ginger sauce and sesame seed oil.
If you can’t find ginger sauce but you have access to fresh ginger, just substitute grated ginger with the juice.
Start by rinsing the fish, including the cavity, and rubbing it dry with paper towels. Then, score the fish on both sides. Why? There’s a post dedicated to that topic.
How to score a whole fish
With recipes for cooking whole fish, it is common to see instructions to “score” the fish. What exactly does “score” mean and what is its purpose?
Once you’ve scored the fish, place each in a shallow heatproof bowl. “Heatproof” means into can go into the steamer and not burst into smithereens. As a guide, a bowl that can go into the oven can also be used for steaming.
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the entire surface of the pompano and steam over brisly boiling water for 30 minutes.
When the fish is done, remove the bowls from the steamer baskets. Scoop the sauce around the fish with a spoon and drizzle on top before adding the garnish.
Steamed pompano with ginger sauce
- 2 whole pompano - (1.2 kilograms in total weight) gutted and scaled
- ¼ cup ginger juice - or 3 to 4 tablespoons grated fresh ginger with the juice
- ½ cup light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
- fried garlic
- fried shallots
- thinly sliced scallions
- Start boiling water in your steamer.
- Score the pompano and place each in a heatproof shallow bowl.
- Mix together the ginger sauce or grated ginger, soy sauce and sesame seed oil.
- Pour the mixed sauce over the fish.
- Steam the fish over briskly boiling water for 30 minutes.
- When the fish is done, remove the bowls from the steamer basket(s), scoop the sauce around it with a spoon and drizzle over the top of the fish.
- Sprinkle with fried garlic and shallots, and sliced scallions.