For my gluten free steamed whole fish with shiitake mushrooms and goji berries recipe. I am using fresh whole silver perch, steamed and served with a shiitake mushrooms and goji berries sauce. This steamed whole fish with shiitake mushrooms and goji berries recipe is not only naturally gluten free. But also low carb, dairy free, egg free, corn free and nut free. Check out my other steamed whole fish recipes: Teochew Steamed Whole Fish and Chinese Steamed Whole Fish with Ginger Shallot.
Why Steamed Whole Fish Is So Popular?
Traditionally, Chinese prefers to use steaming as a cooking practice, either in everyday home cooking or even for baking. Steamed whole fish is often the most popular Cantonese dish in Chinese restaurants worldwide. This cooking method is to maintain the fish’s fresh quality and best flavour. Plus whole fish has the best value compared to fish fillets. Steamed whole fish is not only easy to cook. Likewise, when served on a serving platter, it is a remarkable showpiece that makes an impressive presentation.
Many people often include steamed whole fish in the Chinese multi course meals for special occasions. Particularly when you have family and friends for a feast at home or in a restaurant. Many of the festive dishes served during Chinese New Year have symbolisms. Specifically for steamed whole fish, one well known proverb “Leen Leen Yow Yu” (Cantonese) and “Nian Nian You Yu” (Mandarin). Meaning “every year be plentify”. The word plentiful / abundant / ample or “Yu” rhymes with fish in Chinese.
Types of Fish to Use for Chinese Steamed Whole Fish
Types of fish that are good for steaming are cod, halibut, threadfin, grouper, sea bass, trout, snapper, pomfret and trevally. As well as bream, flounder, ocean perch, coral trout, red emperor or even salmon. Plus fresh water fish like tilapia and barramundi. With so many choices of fish available, it can be hard to decide which fish to use. Besides, you can ask your fish monger for recommendation. When you steam whole fish, choose fish that are very fresh with clear eyes, moist firm flesh and red gills.
Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Silver Perch
Silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) are native to the Murray-Darling River system of southeastern Australia. They are freshwater fish that are medium in size. With a subtle flavour and high level of oiliness. Moreover, its flesh is medium firm with delicate flakes and few bones that are easy to remove. Silver Perch is a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. They are low in saturated fats and cholesterol compared to chicken, pork, beef and lamb. Likewise, omega-3 fatty acids helps protect the body against coronary heart diseases. Maintains healthy brain and retina functions, prevent high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis.
Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioners have long been using shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) for over 6,000 years. They have no roots, leaves, flowers or seeds and they are actually fungus. They are not only full of flavour but also have lots of nutritional benefits. Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of copper, Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and selenium. A good source of protein and dietary fiber. As well as vitamin B2 (riboflavin), zinc, manganese, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B3 (niacin) +and choline. Plus vitamin D and vitamin B9 (folate).
In addition, shiitake mushrooms also has a compound called D-Eritadenine (DEA) which aids in lowering cholesterol and maintains cardiovascular health. In addition, shiitake mushrooms also contain lentinan. A compound that can reduce inflammation, fight infections and diseases caused by bad bacteria, viruses and fungus. Beside, lentinan is also a potent antioxidant, L-ergothioneine which inhibits growth of tumorous cancer cells. Thus, many people often hail shiitake mushrooms as a superfood or healing food, dubbed the “miracle mushrooms”.
Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Goji Berries
For many thousands of year, they have been using goji Berries (Lycium barbarum) in China and Tibet. They use them not only in cooking. But as well as medicinal uses to treat eye, liver, kidney diseases, to increase strength and promote long life. Most commonly, they use shiitake mushrooms in soups in Chinese cuisine. Goji berries have all essential amino acids, the most amount of protein in fruits. They are rich in vitamin c, carotenoids and are high in dietary fiber. Moreover, goji berries have iron, calcium, zinc, selenium and other trace minerals. Besides, they also contains natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungus ad anti-inflammatory composites. Their potent antioxidant properties, especially zeaxanthin and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system. Often referred to as a nutritional powerhouse.
Steamed Whole Fish with Shiitake Mushrooms and Goji Berries
- 850 g silver perch cleaned, gutted and descaled by your fishmonger. You can also use cod, halibut, threadfin, grouper, sea bass, trout, snapper, pomfret and trevally. As well as bream, flounder, ocean perch, coral trout, red emperor and salmon.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 inch ginger peeled and cut into fine chopsticks
- 1 spring onion (scallions) sliced into 2 inch lengthwise (white and green parts)
- Steamed rice to serve
For the Shiitake mushrooms and goji berries Sauce:
- 12 dried shiitake mushrooms soak in hot water for 20 minutes until soften. Stems removed and thinly sliced
- 60 g goji berries
- 2 spring onion thinly sliced crosswise (white and green parts)
- 1 long fresh red chilli deseeded and finely sliced
- 3 tablespoons gluten free light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons medium dry sherry
- 5 tablespoons water
For the Marinade:
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon medium dry sherry
For the Garlic and Ginger Oil:
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 3 inch ginger peeled and cut into fine chopsticks
For the Garnish:
- 2 sprigs coriander including stems, roughly chopped
- Heat up 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and stir-fry the garlic and ginger until lightly golden on low heat. Remove and set aside in a small bowl.
- Marinade the fish by rubbing the whole fish with salt, ground white pepper and dry sherry.
- Make three diagonal cuts about 1 cm deep across the fleshy part of the fish on both sides.
For cooking the shiitake mushrooms and goji berries sauce:
- Heat up the non-stick frying pan with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, add in the shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes on medium heat. Then add in the gluten free soy sauce, sesame oil, dry sherry and water and cook for another 3 minutes on low to medium heat.
- Lastly, add in the goji berries, spring onion and red chilli, and stir-fry for another 1 minute on low to medium heat. Set aside.
For steaming the fish:
- Place a steaming rack in a large wok and fill the wok with one third full of water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Put the fish in a large deep plate then place into the wok and steam for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through on high heat. Steaming time depends on the size of the fish.
- When fish is ready, pour the shiitake mushrooms and goji berries sauce onto the top of the fish and distribute evenly.
- Garnish with coriander, then drizzle the garlic and ginger oil on top of the shiitake mushrooms and goji berries sauce.
- Serve immediately with steam rice.