Fish In a Microwave, Cantonese Style
Last night, my friend Grace--political activist and owner of Hong Kong's great pub-cum-salon, Club 71, showed me how to make Cantonese-style steamed fish in a microwave oven.
I've always been a cooking snob about microwaves, never owned one. But in Hong Kong, the kitchens are postage stamps and most don't have ovens, or even proper stoves. So microwaves are big here.
Grace has one behind the bar, and last night she made us a scrumptious steamed Cantonese-style grouper in only 10 minutes.
Here's how she did it:
1. The whole fish was straight from the nearby market, where it had been swimming in a tank. It should be at room temp when you start cooking. (Important!)
2.Grace halved it, and split it in two, so it would fit on the plate without flopping over. Inside she stuck some slivered fresh ginger, and some chopped green chives. A sprinkle of salt, inside and out. Over the fish she drizzled lots of olive oil.
3. She turned two rice bowls upside down, and placed them over the fish, then wrapped everything tightly in a tent of Saran Wrap. (The rice bowls form a tent that keeps the wrap well above the fish.)
Into the microwave it all goes, at medium high, for about five minutes, cha' m' do, as we say in Hong Kong.
After the microwave goes ding! you leave the fish inside for three or four minutes more, to let it keep cooking.
We ate it with chopsticks, sitting at the bar. Some people dipped it in soy sauce, but I didn't think that was necessary. It was perfect! Tender! Delicious and fragrant! Easy! I can't wait to try it in my own kitchen.
Let me know if you have any luck with this very Hong Kong-y style of fish prep.