Sea Bass, Chinese style.

A dear Chinese friend gave a cooking class the other day, in aid of charity of course but it was a fun day.

She described her style of cooking as Home Cooking, but whatever it was, it was delicious.

There were a couple of things that really caught my eye, or rather my taste buds, Steamed Sea Bass, Stir Fried Mango Duck and a sauce, which I will call, Shiitake Mushroom Chinese Sauce. Every cook has a secret ingredient or recipe, which they refuse utterly to share with anyone, and this is Annie’s! So after a lot of google-ing and recipe testing I have finally come up with my own version of Annie’s sauce, I could be totally wrong, and only time will tell if it keeps, it has been sealed in sterilized bottles, so watch this space, and if it is successful, I will divulge.

So onto Steamed Sea Bass and I apologise to Annie for stealing her recipe.

For two people:-

  • A large Sea Bass, gutted and de-scaled
  • a large knob of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • a bunch spring onions , sliced lengthwise ( about 5 cm)
  • 2 Tablespoons Low salt Soy Sauce
  • 1 Cup Vegetable oil
  • Bunch of fresh coriander chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil

Now Annie, used a steam pan to cook her fish, in fact any pan can be used, and made into a steamer, simply by placing some kind of rack into the bottom of a saucepan and make sure that the boiling water keeps below the rack. A bit complicated? Well, an easier way is to use the dishwasher, Annie steamed her fish for 35 Minutes or so, and I steamed my fish on the lowest WASH ( apart from the rinse programme) for an hour. Of course my fish was completely sealed.

Wash the fish and pat dry, ( assuming you have had it gutted and de-scaled by the fishmonger), Slash the fish and insert some of the ginger, the spring onions and some of the chopped coriander. Pour on some drops of the sesame oil, and wrap in aluminium foil, or if using the dishwasher method, seal in a polythene bag ( I have a vacuum sealer, but a zip lock bag will work well, but I would double bag it)

Steam for about 35 mins in a steam pan, or as I say, my shortest programme with the dishwasher is about an hour, and it works really well.

Just before the fish is ready, heat some vegetable oil, , place the fish onto a serving dish and pour over some of the hot oil and garnish with ginger, coriander and onions. Pour over a little soy sauce and/or sesame oil.

Of course some people do not like eating fish on the bone, so a variation of this would be to have sea bass filets, and put some of the ginger, onions and coriander in-between the filets as a form of stuffing and cook in the same way.

The next thing that Annie did was to cook Duck with Mango, again a fast dinner, but a visual and tasty joy.

For 2 people

  • 2 duck breast
  • 3 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 small red onion also finely sliced
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon low salt soy sauce
  • a fresh red chilli sliced
  1. Slice the duck into 1/2″ strips
  2. mix together the red onion, some of the ginger, some of the oil and the soy sauce. Add the duck and leave to marinate, for at least 15 mins, but it is also possible to leave it overnight ( as I did almost by default).
  3. Heat some oil in a wok or deep pan along with some salt and pepper. Add the duck and cook for about 5 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients , leaving the mango to the end, so as not to over cook it.

This might be the traditional Chinese method, but the downside is that Duck has a fatty breast, which of course imparts flavour, but some people might object to the relatively raw fat ( himself and Willowy brunette for starters) , so I adapted the method slightly. I grilled the duck fat side down, after marinating,

then added to the wok as above.

And lastly, I am always fascinated by what I find in Supermarkets, especially when I am not in the UK.

My father once told me that his all time favourite as a boy was being able to afford a can of condensed milk and eating it all straight out of the can. It would seem that little has changed since then, as I found this in a french Supermarket recently. Pocket size, just incase you get a little peckish! Willowy Brunette ( She’s a Dentist will not be recommending that to anyone soon!)img_1389

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