Hed Chef: Auspicious steamed snapper dish for CNY
Still thinking what to cook this Chinese NewYear?
This tom yum-style steamed red snapper adds fresh taste and colour to your feast.
Traditionally, fish is regarded as an auspicious food because it is a homonym for abundance. The Mandarin phrase “nian nian you yu” translates directly into yearly abundance.
There is even more reason to eat locally-farmed fish as you will be supporting our local economy and improving our food supply resilience.
The Agri-FoodandVeterinary Authority (AVA) works with local farms to promote consumer awareness of local produce.
It launched the Good Aquaculture Practice for Fish Farming certification scheme in August 2014. The scheme’s guidelines provide a benchmark for local production of safe and quality fish.
When buying fish, look out for the country of origin, the Love Homegrown Produce label and the Quality Assurance Logo.
- 300ml chicken stock or water
- 100g shallots, sliced lengthwise
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 50g galangal, sliced (reserve a slice for steaming the fish)
- 1 lemongrass, use 12cm from root, bruised
- 1 red finger chilli, deseeded and julienned
- 1 green finger chilli, deseeded and julienned
- 12 kaffir lime leaves
- 3 chilli padi, thinly sliced
- 1 flat tbsp dried chilli paste
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 50ml freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp palm sugar
- 1 locally farmed red snapper (800g)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 400ml of water for steaming the fish.
- 1 stalk coriander, sliced into 3-cmlengths
1. Start by preparing the tomyum-style sauce. In a saucepan, bring the 300ml of chicken stock or water to a boil.
2. Put in the shallots, garlic, galangal and lemongrass and boil for 10 minutes until the shallots are softened.
3. Add the red chilli and green chilli.
4. Add eight kaffir lime leaves and the chilli padi.
5. Add the dried chilli paste and stir.
6. Season with the fish sauce and light soy sauce.
7. Add the lime juice and palm sugar.
8. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and set aside.
9. Rinse and pat dry the fish.
10. Rub the salt all over the fish and also inside the cavity of the fish.
11. Insert one slice of galangal into the fish’s cavity.
12. Place fish in a heatproof dish. Place four kaffir lime leaves on the fish.
13. Fill a wok with 400ml of water. Place a metal stand in the wok.
14. Cover and bring the water to a boil.
Place dish containing the fish in the wok.
Cover and steamfor 12 minutes.
15. Drain off any excess liquid collected in the dish that the fish was steamed in.
15. Reheat the tomyum-style sauce.
16. Ladle the sauce over the fish. Garnish with coriander. Serve immediately.
Fresh and tasty options
The chief executive officer of The Fish Farmer, Mr Malcolm Ong, 54, recommends suitable cooking methods for several of the locally farmed fish.
Red snapper: Broiled, grilled, panfried, steamed, baked or deep-fried.
Golden pomfret: Affordable alternative to the pricier white or Chinese pomfrets. Steamed, pan-fried or deepfried.
Seawater sea bass: Premiumfish best steamed or pan-fried.
Seawater black tilapia: Has a firm texture and sweet flavour without the muddy taste of freshwater tilapia.
Suitable for all cooking methods.