Chris's Big Mouth Bass
This succulent fish dish is sure to keep even the most talkative mouths too full to chat.
- 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)
- 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.