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Steamed Black Cod with Scallions and Rice Wine

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Serves 4

  • by Jay Weinstein from Fine Cooking
    Issue 101

Called sablefish in Europe, black cod is one of the richest-tasting fish on the market. It is buttery and luxurious and nearly impossible to overcook. You can substitute dry sherry if you can’t find Shaoxing rice wine in an Asian market or a wine store.

  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 skinless black cod fillets (about 4 oz. each)
  • 12 scallions or spring onions, dark-green parts only, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, preferably jasmine,cooked according to package directions

With a rasp-style grater, grate the ginger into a fine sieve set over a large bowl. Use the back of a spoon to press down on the pulp to release the juice; discard the pulp. Stir in the soy sauce and sugar. Add the fish, turn to coat, cover, and marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Set a steamer (either western style or Asian bamboo) over a pot with at least 1 inch of simmering water. On a dinner plate that can fit in the steamer, arrange the fish so the fillets fit without touching (discard the remaining marinade). Distribute the scallions around the fish and put the plate in the steamer. Cover and steam the fish until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.

Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat and add the Shaoxing. Allow it to sizzle for just a few seconds and remove from the heat.

Divide the rice among 4 dinner plates. Top the rice with the fish and scallions (transfer directly from the steamer without attempting to remove the plate). Spoon the Shaoxing sauce over all and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with rice and Stir-Fried Snow Peas with Shiitakes and Ginger.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 510; Fat (g): 25; Fat Calories (kcal): 220; Saturated Fat (g): 4.5; Protein (g): 20; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 14; Carbohydrates (g): 45; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Sodium (mg): 115; Cholesterol (mg): 55; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I make something very similar to this but use mirin instead and no sugar. I was also slivering the ginger into matchsticks but like grating the ginger better--it gives more flavor and is quicker. I also add sesame oil. The key is finding black cod which is almost full proof. This recipe is so quick, easy & healthy that my son makes it in the microwave in his college apt kitchen.

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