It’s a while since I have posted something from further east than Howth (A fishing port on the far side of Dublin Bay). This is a slight variation on a classic, served in some of the best Oriental restaurants around. It is not dished up in the average Chinese where the height of culinary ambition matches the diners’ desire for a gooey sauce and a slice of pineapple with their sweet and sour chicken balls. This dish has finesse. It has class and refinement. It does not go well with beer and it will never become a post-pub favourite in the way that chicken chow mein or prawn curry with fried rice have. This is a good thing.
If you will forgive my presumption, I believe that you are an elegant creature and you have standards. You want to impress and you also have a reputation that you like to maintain and even to occasionally enhance. Serving Steamed Monkfish with Spring Onions to discerning guests is sure to electrify their taste buds without setting fire to their sensitivities. It will elevate your social status and has the benefit of being incredibly easy to prepare.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
- 500 grammes of fresh monkfish tail, trimmed of all membrane
- 3 or 4 spring onions
- 2 cloves of garlic or half a bulb of single bulb garlic
- 1 cm (1/2 inch) of ginger
- 5 teaspoons of soy sauce
- A few drops of chili oil
Get the preparation underway by slicing the fish into nice chunky medallions of roughly 1 cm width.
Clean and slice the spring onions on the diagonal. This gives a very recherché appearance to the humble vegetable. Then slice the ginger and garlic into matchstick size shreds (small, elegant, matchsticks).
Place the monkfish medallions on a dinner plate and sprinkle it with the spring onions, ginger and garlic.
Next, bring some water to boil in the bottom of a large saucepan (big enough to hold the dinner plate). Place a trivet in the bottom or use something else to keep the plate above the level of the water. I used my trusty wok and a small bowl.
Gently place the plate of deliciousness on top of the trivet and cover to steam.
Side note on fresh fish: If one uses really fresh fish, it will not smell of fish. If the fish smells of fish, it has begun to go off. It may well be safe to eat but, it will not be top class. For the sake of your reputation, buy fresh fish!
After 5 minutes, remove the lid and sprinkle over the soy sauce and the few drops of chili oil.
Arrange half of the fish and aromatics on a dinner plate. Spoon over some of the plate sauce. Serve with a delicate bowl of steamed rice.
Choose a moment when the sophisticates at the table are not looking and spoon the remaining plate juices into your rice bowl. It’s too tasty to waste.
This takes little or no time to prepare and is really delicious. Your more cultivated friends will think more of you. Who knows, they may even elevate you into their social circle. You belong there, don’t you?