Asian-Style Steamed Snapper with Baby Bok Choy
- Steaming liquid:
- 1 quart water
- 1 (3-inch) piece ginger, sliced
- 4 kafir lime leaves, optional
- 1 (1 by 3-inch) piece lime peel
- 1 (1 by 3-inch) piece lemon peel
- 4 sprigs cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 3 scallions
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 jalapeno, cut into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 4 (4-ounce) pieces red snapper fillet, skin on
- 4 large Napa cabbage leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias, white and green parts kept separate
- Cooked jasmine rice, accompaniment
- Special Equipment: 2-layer bamboo or regular steamer
In a shallow pot that a bamboo steamer fits over or in a wok, add the water and bring to a boil. You can also use a traditional steamer that has 2 layers. Add the ginger, lime leaves, citrus zest, cilantro, scallions, white wine, jalapeno, and peanut oil. Season well with salt. Bring back to a boil and cook for 10 minutes for the flavors to combine.
Season the fish with salt and pepper. Place the first layer of the bamboo steamer over the pot. Line the steamer with the cabbage leaves, making sure that the surface is not completely covered so the steam can get through. Lay the fish, skin-side up, on the cabbage leaves. Cover and steam for 1 minute.
Place the bok choy on the second layer of the bamboo steamer in 1 layer. Uncover the steamer and place the bok choy layer on top of the fish. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through and the bok choy is tender, but still has some crispness. Check the fish for doneness by gently inserting a fork into it. If the fork slides easily in, the fish is done. If the fork resists sliding in, it is not quite done. Remove the fish and bok choy and keep warm while you make the sauce.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the peanut oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, and jalapeno and saute until just translucent, about 3 minutes. Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add 4 ounces of the steaming liquid and the soy sauce and boil for 2 minutes. Do not season with salt as the soy sauce is salty. Add the sugar and boil for 1 minute, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Lower the heat and whisk in the butter. Add the scallion whites, stir, and remove from the heat.
Place some jasmine rice on a platter. Top with the steamed bok choy. Top the bok choy with the snapper, skin-side up. Spoon the sauce over the fish. Garnish with the scallion greens and cilantro sprigs.