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I was able to salvage a fish that was immersed in ice for a shoot. So I was watching a World Cafe Asia marathon with a beer in hand, I decided that it was a good day to cook it.

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So the fish was scaled, gutted, stuffed with thin lemon slices, tarragon, tomatoes and doused with some fish sauce. Topped with some ginger and more lemons.. salted and steamed in a wok.

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A good rule is basically 8 minutes per inch thickness of the fish. But the best way to really test is that if when you poke the fish with a fork, there is no resistance, then it’s done.

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There’s nothing like overcooking a fish to completely ruin it’s texture and flavor. How do you know if you’ve overcooked a fish that was steamed? That’s when the flesh dries up and all the oils have gone out and you’re left with this dry and separated flesh that is just sad.

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The sad side of my steaming story is that I got so caught up with Bobby Chinn’s show over a bottle of beer that I forgot all about the raging steamer on the stove. Yes guys, there are days like this… I should’ve put my timer on had I known that I’d be glued to the telly watching Bobby cook on the rice paddies in Hanoi. Ah well…we would’ve very well made something else with the fish, but I was too darn hungry (and at this point, a bit tipsy) to really give a hoot. I got pretty good photos though!

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