Saturday, April 5, 2014

Asian Steamed Branzino

Cooking a whole piece of fish seems intimidating, right? Well it's not. In fact, it only takes 5 minutes to prepare then pop it in the oven for half an hour and that's dinner done. I think that when you steam a whole piece of fish and bring it to the table, it actually impresses people and they tend to think that you spent a long time preparing it. And I don't overload the fish with a lot of seasoning because you want the fish to steam in it's own natural flavors but lime and garlic infuse the fish with a fresh zing. And when you burst the aluminum foil open once the fish is cooked, you get a steam facial (which is quite nice actually) and you smell the garlic and the lime. I make a quick reduction a few minutes before the fish comes out of the oven and it's made from soy sauce and sesame oil which gives the steamed fish a little bit of saltiness and a slight nutty flavor from the sesame oil. Make this Asian dish the star of your next dinner party!
2 lb. whole branzino, scaled and gutted
3 limes, sliced
4 garlic cloves
splash of soy sauce
splash of sesame oil
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400°F

Score the fish and season with salt and pepper

Cut a piece of aluminum foil larger than the fish itself and lay the lime slices and garlic cloves on the aluminum foil

Lay the fish over the lime and garlic then place another sheet of foil over the fish and wrap it tightly

Place the foil package on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 30 minutes

In a small saucepan, boil the soy sauce and sesame oil until it's reduced by half

Tear the aluminum foil and pour the soy and sesame reduction over the fish

Serve whole to the table with steamed white rice