This Teochew steamed whole fish is one of the most distinguished Teochew cuisine. Likewise, an alternative style of steaming fish as opposed to the regular simple Cantonese style. Many recognise Teochew cuisine as Chaozhou cuisine. Because they created it in the Chaoshan district of eastern Guangdong province in China. Teochew cuisine features heavily on healthy steaming, stir-frying and braised dishes. A very popular Teochew steamed whole fish dish in Southeast Asia and China, the fish most commonly used is pomfret.
The flavours of Teochew steamed fish are sweet, savoury, sour and spicy. Besides, all the ingredients together make the dish delicious and mouth-watering. Similarly, it appears very impressive to serve your dinner guests, be it families or friends. In your own home especially during the festive seasons. Teochew steamed whole fish is extremely easy to prepare. Once you have prepared all the ingredients and ready in a steaming plate. All you need to do is to cook it. By steaming only for a short period of time when your guests have arrived at your dinner party.
Gluten free Teochew Steamed Whole Fish
Whereas, for my gluten free version of this Teochew steamed whole fish, I am using red snapper instead of pompret. The main ingredients that make this dish unique are the used of fermented mustard green. Also called pickled/salted mustard green or ham choy. Plus tomato, pork, tofu and salted plum in brine. I have substituted salted plum in brine with gluten free plum sauce. As I have been to quite a few Asian groceries stores. And I found out that salted plum is not readily available in most stores in Sydney. Also plum sauce gives the dish a sweet and sour taste. This Teochew steamed whole fish recipe is not only naturally gluten free. It is also low carb, dairy free, nut free and egg free.
Other fish that you can also use are bream, sea bass, threadfin, coral trout, cod or even barramundi. Sometimes, they also use fish fillets like ling, cod and snapper. When buying a whole fish from the fishmonger, chose fish that has bright and clear eyes. This simply means that the fish is fresh and recently caught. Also, you can get your fishmonger to clean, gut and descale the whole fish. This makes it a lot easier for you to prepare the fish for steaming.
Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Red Snapper
Red snapper is a popular white fish with firm texture, juicy and unique sweet flavour. Likewise, it is low in calories, low fats and high in lean protein with all nine essential amino acids. Besides, it is abundant in selenium, iodine and phosphorous and omega-3 fatty acids. As well as vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin D and choline. Furthermore, red snapper is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and iron. Plus vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B7 (biotin).
The overall health benefits of red snapper may include:
- Boosts the body’s immune system;
- Aid in weight loss;
- Maintain healthy thyroid function;
- Promote healthy bone and teeth;
- Lower blood pressure;
- Reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases;
- Support healthy central nervous system;
- Lower risks of cataract and macular degeneration.
Teochew Steamed Whole Fish
- 1.3 kg medium red snapper cleaned, gutted and descaled by your fishmonger
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 500 g skinless and boneless pork leg or pork tenderloin trimmed and thinly sliced to about 1 inch pieces
- 500 g firm tofu drained and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 150 g fermented mustard green or pickled/salted mustard green, hum choy, thinly sliced
- 3 spring onions sliced into 1.5 inch lengthwise (white and green parts)
- 1 medium tomato cut into wedges
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- steamed basmati rice to serve
For the Sauce:
For the Marinade:
For the Garlic and Ginger Oil:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1.5 inch ginger peeled and cut into fine chopsticks
For the Garnish:
- 2 sprigs coriander (cilantro) including stems, roughly cut into 2cm (0.8 inch) lengthwise
- 1 long fresh red chilli deseeded and finely sliced
- Heat up 3 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.
- Combine pork with marinade in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stich frying pan and stir-fry and separating the pork pieces for about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Combine the sauce prepared in a small bowl and mix well.
- Make two diagonal cuts about 1.5 cm (0.6 inch) deep across the fleshy part of the fish on both sides.
Preparing the fish for steaming:
- Using a large deep porcelain plate, add and scatter ⅔ of the pork pieces, tofu and 100g (3.5oz) of fermented mustard green or pickled/salted mustard green into the bottom of the plate. Then add the fish on top of the pork and tofu.
- Stuff the cut spring onions into the gut of the fish. Sprinkle white pepper on the fish. Scatter ginger and then 50g (1.8oz) of fermented mustard green or pickled/salted mustard green on top of the fish. Then add the rest of the pork pieces, tofu and tomato wedges to the sides of the plate.
- Drizzle the sauce prepared over the fish.
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 boil.
- Place the fish into the wok and steam for 25 to 30 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Steaming time depends on the size of the fish.
- When fish is ready, drizzle the garlic and ginger oil on top of the fish and garnish with coriander and chilli.
- Serve immediately with steam rice.