If you are in need of a light dish, you cannot go past steamed fish and lightly grilled vegetables, with a soy and mirin reduction. Steaming is a wonderful method of cooking, it allows you to cook food through steam without using oils or fats. For a light summer lunch or dinner, easy to prepare and even easier to devour. I have chosen Monk Fish for it’s delicate flesh. Although this fish is delicate but remains firm once cooked. If you have a preference for a much firmer fleshed fish there are many varieties available and would be wonderful for this dish.
800 grams Monk fish (or other)
1 bunch Broccolini (trim ends)
100 grams Sugar Peas (top & tail)
1 bunch Bok Choy (cut into wedges)
2 Spring Onions (cut into 10 cm lengths, keeping the green ends for the steamer)
1 knob Ginger (10 cm cut into small batons)
1.5 litres of water
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Mirin Seasoning
2 pieces of Lime Rind
Preparation time: 20 minutes (approximately)
Cooking Time: 20 minutes (approximately)
Serves: 4 people (approximately)
Rinse and prepare all the vegetables and pat dry. In a pan over medium heat add a little oil, place a few pieces of bok choy and cook until browned on the edges. Repeat this until all the bok choy has been cooked. Remove and place in a large bowl, cover with foil and keep warm. Cook the broccolini a few at a time and once browned just a little remove and place in the same bowl with the bok choy. Repeat this until you have cooked all the broccolini. When cooking the broccolini in the pan, place a lid on top of it to create a bit of steam to cook it through a little. You may find that you will need to add a little more oil each time you add the vegetables. Add the spring onions to the pan and quickly brown on each side. Remove and add to the rest of the vegetables.
For the sugar peas, place them in a bowl, boil a kettle or some water in a pan and pour over the sugar peas. Ensure that they are well covered with the boiled water for 1 minute. The peas just need to change their colour and remain crunchy.
In a small pan add the soy sauce, mirin and place onto the stove over medium heat. Once the liquid starts to bubble away, reduce the heat just a little and let it simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to half it’s volume and is thicker in consistency. You can test the sauce thickness by coating the back of a spoon. If there is a thick film over the back of the spoon the sauce is ready. Place the lime peel into the sauce and allow to stand covered for 10 minutes.
Place the water in the wok, bring to the boil over medium heat. Neatly place a sheet of baking paper on the bottom of the steamer, arrange the stems of the spring onions around, as well as the peeled ginger skins, arrange the fish neatly in the steamer and place the ginger batons on top of the fish. Put the steamer on top of the simmering water covering with the bamboo lid. Steam for approximately 5-7 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. You can check if the fish is cooked by testing it with a skewer. If the skewer goes through the flesh easily, the fish is ready.
To serve, arrange the fish on a plate with the vegetables. Drizzle a little sauce over the fish (the reduction is strong and salty a little will go a long way).
There are many varieties of fish to choose from, Rockling, Snapper, Blue Grenadier, Barramundi just to name a few. You may choose to use fresh water fish rather than salt water fish. When you are steaming the fish bare in mind the thickness of the fish for the cooking time. The above pieces were not overly thick and I kept an eye on them.
I used a dutch oven pan with a lid to brown and cook the vegetables. It is fast and efficient. You can use a griddle pan to do the vegetables. The vegetables can also be steamed however, cook the larger or thicker vegetables first then add the finer ones.
When preparing the sauce, keep an eye on it as it is reducing and give it a stir every now and then. This will give you an idea of how it is reducing.