I was reading some Chinese cookery books I had bought in Beijing a few years back. I had to smile about the clumsy English but then, I could not read the characters in the original version so the translator helped me a lot.
There are a lot of vegetables and herbs the Chinese use in their cooking that are difficult to find here and not many recipes appealed to me apart from a dozen or so. One thing that stuck me is the way fish was treated – either in a broth (and I had a very nice meal of that in Beijing with two students who wanted me to pay…), or steamed. After the steaming some hot oil with herbs is poured over the fish, to enhance the flavours and ‘cook’ the skin a bit.
Here in France, I often use the grill to prepare fish like sea bass or sea bream.
However, on the grill the fish cooks from the skin to the inside and you end up with either a blackened skin or not-yet-done fish meat on the bone.
In this recipe I am combining the Chinese and French way. I first grilled the fish for 10 minutes to colour the skin and then I steamed it for 20 minutes.
I also added some ginger, garlic, coriander, lemon grass and chillies and poured some hot oil over it just before serving.
I made a side dish of fried spinach with sesame seed and soy sauce.
(The frontpage picture was taken after the grill and before the steaming — in a larger metal basket but this Chinese one was nicer for the picture — the bottom picture was how it looked when served)