I love rice and so does my husband. We try to find different ways to prepare and enjoy this wonderful food. Through time, we found hundreds of recipes, some simple and some exotic, and have enjoyed preparing them. We've found some real winners, which I have published on this blog and some that are not so great, which are in my personal "do not" repeat folder. I have created this site to share those memorable dishes - which are all about this wonderful food called "rice".

Whole Fish with Black Bean Sauce

Something I have always wanted to try was to cook a whole fish.  It is not as difficult as I thought it would be.  It was actually a lot of fun.  Note: there is a difference between fresh fish and frozen.  Asian and ethnic grocery stores have huge fish tanks for live seafood.  It is amazing how wonderful it is to cook with very fresh seafood.  I recommend it highly.  Have your fishmonger scale and clean the fish for you.  The original recipe normally steams the fish.  I prefer baking or broiling; this creates a different texture to the fish.  If you wish to steam, wrap the fish in foil and steam for 30 minutes.

2 whole fish (cleaned) trout, sea bass, tilapia
2 tblsp salted black beans
1 tsp sugar
2 inches of fresh ginger (shredded)
6 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
3 tblsp Chinese rice wine
3 tblsp Light soy sauce
4-6 spring onions (shredded or sliced)
3 tblsp olive or canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil

Wash the fish inside and out and dry with a paper towel.  With a sharp knife, cut deep diagonal slices across the each side of the fish. Cut deep enough to expose the flesh but not to the bones.  Mash half of the beans in a small bowl with the sugar.  Add the remaining whole beans and mix well.  Place fish on a glass or ceramic plat and place half of the shredded ginger and sliced garlic inside the fish cavity spreading as evenly as you can.  Rub the blackbean mixture on to the outside of the fish making sure you get it between the diagonal slices.  Turn fish over and do the same on the other side. Cover with plastic wrap and marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Turn oven on to 350 degrees.  Place fish in a foil covered pan.  Mix rice wine with 1 tblsp of soy sauce and 1 tblsp oil.  Pour mixture over the fish. Cover fish with another piece of foil and place in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil covering and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes or until fish is done (flesh is opaque).

In a small pan, heat the remaining oil until almost smoking; remove from heat. Add the sesame oil and the remaining soy sauce and stir.  Remove fish from the oven and transfer to a plate, sprinkle with the spring onions.  Drizzle with the oil and soy sauce mixture.  Serve hot with steamed rice.

NOTE: If you are not comfortable with cooking a whole fish, ask your fishmonger to remove the head.  This also works with fish fillets. Reduce cooking time if cooking fillets.

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