Steaming is a cooking technique that seals the food with moist heat and helps to retain their nutrients, flavor, and texture. When you steam fish perfectly, you will get a very tender, silky and slightly chewy texture that is so hale and hearty. Steaming does not require a lot of techniques and skills. You simply have to learn the secret tricks that would turn your plain steamed fish to Chinese-restaurant worthy.
Note that whole fish is better than fillets as the best flavor you get from steaming fish comes from the blood. Plus, the head, bones and skin add flavor. In fact, the fatty belly meat is the tastiest part of a fish. This is why almost every steamed or poached fish recipe calls for a whole fresh fish. Don't buy pre-gutted fish as the blood will drain out and you will have a tasteless piece of fish to eat. You can gut the fish yourself to reduce fluid loss. Frozen and thawed fresh whole fish can just be as good as fresh fish.
To begin the steaming process, make sure the water is rapidly boiling so it produces high heat and full steam before adding fish on the steamer basket. This ensures constant heat right through the cooking time. See to it your water is kept below the steaming rack and not in contact with food. Steam a small fish for 5-8 minutes, and 8-10 minutes for a bigger fish. Use your best judgment. For bigger fish, you might need to watch the level of water and add more as needed.
Do not over steam or overcook your fish. When you remove fish from the steamer it should still be a bit translucent at the spine. Just make sure the fish is fresh. You can add a glass of dry white wine or cider to the pot along with a few sprigs of fresh herbs, lemon and onion slices for a more robust steam flavor. If you want, you can also steam vegetables along with your fish by placing the veggies on top. To give your steamed fish that perfect sheen, brush a little amount of heated oil on the fish.
Steaming fish is a wonderful way to make a simple, fresh and healthy meal in one pot without taking too much time in the kitchen. It is amazing you only need to steam your fish perfectly to get the most flavorful steamed fish recipe. Match it with a green salad and you sure are getting all the healthiness you have been looking for.