This Steamed Fish with Sour Mustard, ginger, red chilies, and onions is light, tangy, and very appetizing. Only 20 minutes to prepare.
Pickled plums that come in jars is an essential ingredient in Teochew steamed fish. It provides the tangy flavor in the sauce. While you can easily find this ingredient in Malaysia, it is not as easily available here in the US. Only select Asian grocery stores carry this product. A good substitute is umeboshi if you happen to live close to a Japanese grocery store. Unfortunately, that is not the case for me but I was undeterred to make this dish.
Teochew “Style” Steamed Fish
Sour mustard, a.k.a. pickled mustard greens (kiam chai) is another ingredient used in Teochew steamed fish. Thankfully, this pickled vegetable is available where I live. Sour mustard is often soaked to remove some of its sourness. I figured I can make up for the sourness by using a little more sour mustard minus the soaking. You can also use some tomatoes if preferred.
I think it worked out quite well. The steamed fish was delicious and the sauce was sufficiently tangy. The mild fish became quite flavorful infused with the tangy, slightly garlicky, and spicy sauce. I am glad I took a chance and cooked it even though I did not have the pickled plums.
Onions with Stems
In case you are wondering about the onions, they were from my own Raised-Bed Vegetable Garden. I made this dish in the summer but did not post it until now. Somehow, it was lost in the archives as life got busy. These onions were the smaller ones that failed to form into larger bulbs. They were long and slender with a mild flavor. You can use thicker scallions or sweet onions in its place.
Similar Products Used in Making This Steamed Fish with Sour Mustard
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- 1 lb cod fillet or any kind of preferred white fish fillet (450g)
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and cut into thin slices)
- 1 inch ginger (peeled and julienned)
- 1 red chili (cut into thin slices)
- 3½ oz sour mustard (pickled mustard greens/kiam chai) cut into thin strips (100g)
- 2 small onions with 4 inch stems (or scallions), cut into quarters lengthwise
- 2 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Place fish fillet on a dish. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Arrange garlic slices, julienned ginger, and red chili slices on top of the fish. Arrange sour mustard strips and onions around the fish decoratively.
- Fill a large wok or pan with about 2 inches of water. Place a metal rack or stand in the wok or pan. Cover with a lid and bring water to a boil.
- When the water comes to a boil, transfer dish with fish onto metal rack. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and allow fish to steam for 10 minutes. Fish is done when flesh flakes easily.
- While fish is steaming, prepare the dressing. Combine minced garlic and vegetable oil in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 1½ minutes. Remove, add soy sauce, and stir to combine. Set aside.
- When fish is done steaming, remove from wok or pan. Drain some of the juices if there is too much in the dish.
- Pour dressing over fish. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.
All in all, I am pleased with this Steamed Fish with Sour Mustard and will make it again. It was light, tangy, garlicky, spicy, and flavorful. If you are looking for a similar but stronger flavor, do check out this Steamed Cod with Kimchi. It is more spicy and just as delicious.