yummy yummy! I cooked this fish twice and pictures are from my 2nd attempt
This was my first dish using fish sauce(that time, Sept 2011). I’ve never used fish sauce before. And not long before I saw this recipe, I bought myself one small bottle. Some are made from squid, some from anchovies and this bottle I’ve got, is made from pomfret. Experienced fish sauce users, any difference between those that I mentioned? I just have no idea. But one thing I know, it definitely taste more pleasant than fish sauce that comes from China. That is toooooo fishy for me.
I adapted this recipe from Echo’s Kitchen, and the only major difference I did was adding in some homegrown lemongrass. Poor lemongrass bush, I’m tearing it apart faster than it can reproduce. If you have all these plants at home, I’m sure you can whip up this appetizing steamed fish in no time. I know a lot of people have calamansi trees at home, leftovers from Chinese New Year, lemongrass and even bird’s eye chilli. But I don’t have a calamansi tree at home right now, I’m waiting for Chinese New Year to get mine.
Because I only have 6 fruits at home, and that wasn’t enough for this dish, I added in some lemon….. frankly, lemons don’t taste as good as calamansis in this dish. When I first used calamansi… wow, the taste was fabulous, then as I adjust the taste, I had to use lemons as I ran out of calamansi and then the flavor was somehow, not as good, from a citrus point of view. So, my personal opinion is, use all calamansi and it’ll be phenomenal, like Echo says it’ll be.
Thai Style Garlic Steamed Fish1 Tbsp thinly sliced bird’s eye chilli (more or less, up to you)3 Tbsp calamansi juice (more or less, you need adjustments later)1½ Tbsp sugar1 Tbsp fish sauce¾ tsp salt1 lemon grass, thinly sliced1 Tbsp oil1. Rinse fish and pat dry.2. Mix garlic, chilli, calamansi juice, sugar, fish sauce, and salt together. Stir until sugar and salt dissolves. Taste. It should be slightly oversalted, sourish and mildly sweet. (Once it cooked, the saltiness will be reduced and the ‘sweetness’ will be enhanced by the fish) Adjust as needed. Let it sit for 5 minutes and taste again. Take note that changes in flavor might occur as the garlic gets “pickled”.3. Stuff some lemon grass and some of the garlic mixture (no liquid) into the belly of the fish.4. Put 1 Tbsp of the garlic mixture in your steaming dish, on the spot where you will place your fish.5. Place fish in steaming dish and spoon garlic mixture over. Sprinkle top with sliced lemongrass. Pour oil over the fish.6. Steam on high for 15 minutes or until done (fish comes off the bone when flaked)