To the Chinese, steamed fish is always a favourite. There are many reasons why steaming the fish is preferred over other methods of cooking it. Firstly, it is much healthier and secondly, most of the nutrients of the fish are retained. Ensure that the fish is fresh, of course!
To prepare this dish, it is best to use white fish like cod, bass or grouper. Use just the fish fillet if you prefer but to the Chinese, it is important to serve the fish as a whole, with the head and tail intact during the festive season. It is considered auspicious to have fish served during the reunion dinner, which takes place a day before Chinese New Year as the pronunciation of fish in Chinese (“Yu”) sounds similar to the word surplus. Hence, having a whole fish to begin the year signifies the start of a new year with surplus and abundance!
Despite being a fairly easy dish to prepare, the flesh of the fish will be tough if it is steamed for too long. Depending on the size and thickness of the fish, steaming a fish normally takes around 15-20 minutes.