Coral trout steamed Teochew-style with silken tofu

If you know me, you know I love a good fish.

The best part of eating steamed fish, Cantonese style with shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce, is being able to mush the tofu into your rice.

Recipe courtesy of the bridge room restaurant, but spotted in The Sydney Magazine first. I suppose chef Ross Lusted did come up with it first. Changes I have indicated with an asterix(*), which I’ll then explain in the comments.

Coral trout steamed Teochew-style with silken tofu

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 whole coral trout, cleaned and scaled, or 4 coral trout fillets
8 slices silken tofu (300g)
1 large pickled mustard green (gai choy)*
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, finely sliced*
2 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
2cm piece fresh ginger, cut into julienne
2 long red chillies, finely sliced*
3 salted plums, rinsed, seeded and sliced*
10g rock sugar
1 tbsp rice wine*
50ml light soy sauce*
Chinese parsley leaves, to garnish*
picked bean sprouts, to garnish*
finely sliced green (spring) onions, to garnish*

Method
Place fish in a steamer with tofu.
Soak mustard green in cold water to remove some of the salt, then drain and slice finely.
Place mustard green in a bowl with mushrooms, tomatoes, ginger, chillies and plums.
Pound rock sugar in a mortar and pestle and add to vegetables. Stir to combine, then place on top of fish and tofu.
Drizzle rice wine over fish and vegetables, then rest in fridge for 30 minutes for flavours to develop.
Steam for about 4-5 minutes or until fish is just cooked. Remove from steamer and sprinkle with soy sauce and top with parsley, sprouts and onion.

I soaked the mustard greens for several hours, but only used three leaves worth. I didn’t want the pickle flavour to overwhelm the dish. The rest I stuffed into a jar and topped with water.

I had forgotten to buy fresh shiitake mushrooms, so I used two dried ones and half a pine mushroom.

Rice wine I didn’t have so I used a mix of 1 tablespoon each of verjuice, apple cider vinegar, black vinegar and water.

My pantry is already chockablock with unused ‘hey that’s cool’ type ingredients, so I didn’t buy salted plums. I used a teaspoon of salted capers, soaked in hot water.

Steaming this from scratch with cold water in the steamer took 15 minutes. Even for my baby one person sized fish.

Teochew style Fish

Verdict?
Yum! I was happy with the balance of sweet, sour and salty. The pickle seemed to bring out the creaminess of the tofu more. I wouldn’t want to have added more mustard greens pickle, not could I fit it on the plate.

Next time I might even remember to put the garnishes on!

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