" Rush Hour" Chris's Big Mouth Bass

This succulent fish dish is sure to keep even the most talkative mouths too full to chat.

The Fish:

  • 1/4 cup dried Chinese black mushrooms
  • 1 two-pound whole, cleaned and scaled big mouth bass, snapper or other firm fleshed fish
  • 1/4 cup peeled and very thinly sliced ginger
  • 1 cup scallions (about 6) cut into diagonal thin strips, 1-2 inches in length
  • 2 hot red peppers, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanut oil
  • 2 bunches of whole scallion greens (optional)

The Sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


1. Cover dried mushrooms with boiling water and soak 20 minutes until softened. Slice in half and set aside.

2. Place whole fish on a cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, make four, evenly spaced, half-inch deep, diagonal cuts down either side of fish. Place an alternating combination of sliced mushroom, red pepper and/or ginger in each slit.

3. Combine remaining ginger and hot red peppers, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, sherry and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stuff half of the scallion mixture inside the fish. Reserve the other half of the scallion mixture and set aside.

4. Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and keep warm.

5. Line steamer rack or ovenproof dish with extra scallion greens (optional) and place fish on top. (Note: If you don't have a steamer, improvise one by placing an ovenproof dish in a wok or roasting pan and pouring 1-1/2" of boiling water around sides and below top of the dish. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid or foil and place over medium-high heat.) Steam fish for 8-10 minutes, just until the flesh becomes opaque and flakes apart when tested with a knife.

6. Carefully transfer the hot fish to a serving platter and pile the reserved scallion mixture over the steamed fish. In a small saucepan, heat peanut oil over high heat until it shimmers, but has not yet begun to smoke. Drizzle the hot peanut oil over the fish; it should sizzle gleefully on contact. Serve the fish immediately with the warm sauce accompanied by scallion pancakes or your favorite side dish.

Serves 1-2

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