I love to eat fish. Steam it, deep-fried it, pan-fried it, grill it, or even raw like sashimi. I eat them with heart-shaped pupils in my eyeballs. My husband said I probably might get fish overdose. But I often give him that so-be-it look. Each time when my dad knew that I was going back home to visit, he would stock lots of fresh fishes in the fridge and my mom will cook them in different ways each day. Such a treat.
I can probably say that most Chinese prefer to eat their fishes in whole, meaning with head and tail still in tact. Everyone will share the same fish and picking the meat off of the fish with their eating utensils.
This Thai Lemon Fish is very refreshing. The lemon dressing is very appetizing and is good for removing the “fishy” odor. Use this dressing on other seafoods like crabs and prawns, and it will work wonder too. I used trout to cook this dish. Other suitable fishes for this dish are: sea bass, grouper, red snapper, pomfret, really…whatever float your boat.
THAI STYLE LEMON FISH (2-3 servings)
- 1 whole fish about 1/2 lb or 450 g
- Dash of salt
- Some coriander leaves/cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 tsp chopped red chilies
- 1 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Cup water
SCALING THE FISH:
Most of the time the internal parts have been removed, but some are not, especially if you buy them from Asian market. You can have them removed for you. You may need to do the "scaling" on your own. Use a knife and scrap the scales off the meat by going on the opposite direction of the scales. It may be messy, as the scales may "fly" all over the places. I recommend getting a clean trash bag big enough for you to do the scaling inside the bag, so the scales will not go anywhere else and you don't have to worry that they will go down your kitchen sink.
Clean the fish and pat dry. Cut slits on the fish where the flesh is thick. Rub salt on the fish and place on a steaming dish
Cooking the fish:
Bring water in the steamer to a boil. Steam fish over high heat for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and pour away the steaming liquid. You can see the eyes of the fish will turn opaque in color and the mouth will open up once it is cooked
Combine garlic, red chilies, coriander and the rest of the ingredients for lemon dressing. Drizzle over the fish and steam again for about half a minute. Remove
Scatter the coriander leaves on top as garnish