Thursday, June 14, 2007

Foochow style Steamed Pomfret

To have and to eat fresh pomfret was a joy to the Foochows in the 50's and 60's. Digging into the white fresh flesh of the fish would be heavenly. And this fish when steamed tantalised the tongue and quickened the heart. To taste this fish would mean satiating almost all the five senses of a human being. And I for one, would not forego a chance to eat the fish , especially when it was a fresh one.

How fresh could a fresh pomfret be? It would be less than a day old from the sea if your uncle happened to be a fisherman. And that was how fresh my mother's family would get their fish. An uncle was a fisherman-boat owner who went to sea at least three weeks a month.

My father was a good gentleman fisherman too but that was because the Rejang River was very promising and at a throw of the net (jala) he could easily catch a bucket of huge river prawns. But those days were gone when the population exploded and the timber industry killed the spawning grounds of tenggadak, empurau, tapah, red eyes, baong, prawns, river eels and patin.

Foochow style Steamed Pomfret

1 1 1/2 kg pomfret
2 tsp salt
2 tsp finely ground white pepper
100 gm kim chiam (dried golden needles available in Chinese Medicine shops)
2 preserved plums
2 small chillies (sliced finely)
5 dried black mushrooms (sliced finely)
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp Foochow red wine
2 stalks spring onions, chopped finely
a few slices of preserved salty vegetables (kiam chai)
a few fine slices of ginger


1. Clean the pomfret well and season with salt and pepper. Leave to marinade for about an hour.
2. prepare all the other ingredients e.g. tie the kim chiam into knots,etc.
3. Heat the sesame oil in a wok and fry the sliced mushrooms, ginger and chillies,
4. Place the fish in a nice dish, place all the ingredients on top and steam the fish in a hot steamer for about 40 minutes.
5. Before serving pour two tablespoons of red wine on to the fish, and garnishwith spring onions.

0 memories:


web statistics