Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Steamed Fish Head with Chopped Chillies (剁椒鱼头)

The weather is hot, and so is this fiery-looking steamed fish head, all covered in chopped red chillies!  剁椒鱼头 is a Hunan signature dish.  You might have heard of this popular Chinese phrase "江西人 不怕辣, 湖南人 辣不怕, 四川人怕不辣" - referring to the increasing threshold level for spicy food.  For me, I belong to the "moderate-level" - not too spicy, but a little will be nice.  Hence, do not be fooled by the appearance of this dish.  It just looks spicy, but that's all .... since I can even drizzle the sauce over my rice and eat without sweating.

For this dish, I used about 8 to 9 red chillies.  Chop it up coarsely, combine with 2 to 3 tbsp of cooking wine and leave it to sit for a few hours.  Thereafter, discard the liquid.  I'm doing this to extract the spiciness out from the red chillies.  If you love your food to be super hot & spicy, you may want to omit this step.  

1/2 fish head
8 to 9 red chillies, remove seeds, coarsely chopped
2 to 3 tbsp cooking wine
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp salted black beans
3 stalks of spring onion, chopped

Seasoning sauce:
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

2 to 3 tbsp hot cooking oil

1) Combine chopped chillies with 2 to 3 tbsp cooking wine.  Leave it for few hours.  Discard liquid.
2) Combine together the chillies (from step 1), garlic, ginger, salted black beans and the seasoning sauce.
3) Rub a small pinch of salt all over the fish head, place it on the steaming plate.  Pour the combined seasoning sauce over the fish head and steam on high for about 10 minutes.
4) Heat up 2 to 3 tbsp cooking oil till very hot.  Add chopped spring onion to the steamed fish head and pour the hot oil over.  Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip on how to extract the spiciness out from chilli. :)


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