A very satisfying fish dinner indeed! Meatless Monday for us typically centers around seafood and we’re always game to try new recipes, especially those that promise lots of taste and nutritional value. So when I spotted this gem in Milk Street’s “The New Rules” cookbook, I knew it had to make the short list.
Since lean white fish is mild in flavor, before steaming the fillets, season them boldly with garlic, ginger, oyster sauce and fiery-sweet Sriracha. A gentle even heat is best for keeping the delicate flesh of fish moist and tender. Steaming is ideal because the heat surrounds the fish, cooking it from all sides without movement. Any fleshy white fish, such as cod (our choice), haddock, halibut or sea bass will work nicely here.
For a little spice, drizzle the plated fish fillets with a little chili oil before sprinkling with the scallions. Or sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. We served jasmine rice steamed with homemade fish stock, which not only added color, it boosted the flavor profile. Our other side was chopped bok choy stir-fried with garlic and ginger and a bit of that fish stock.
NOTE: Don’t uncover the pot before 8 minutes of steaming has elapsed. Opening the lid releases steam and cools the pot. If your fillets are thicker than 1″, don’t uncover the pot until at least 15 minutes. Ours took an entire 20 minutes to come to the recommended temperature of 130°.
RULE NO. 43: Cook Gentle, Season Strong
Steamed Cod with Shiitake Mushrooms
- 3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp. sriracha
- 1 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 8 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 4 6-ounce skinless cod, haddock or halibut fillets (each about 1 inch thick)
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. packed light or dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together the oyster sauce, Sriracha sauce, oil, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the fillets and turn to coat, gently rubbing in the sauce.
- Add the mushrooms and toss until evenly coated. Marinate at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Place a steamer basket in a large Dutch oven. Add enough water to fill the bottom of pot without touching the basket. Remove the basket. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high.
- Meanwhile, mist the steamer basket with cooking spray. Arrange the fish in an even layer in the basket and top the fillets with the mushrooms, evenly arranging them.
- Return the basket to the pot, cover and steam over medium until the fish flakes easily, 8 to 12 minutes. (Ours took 20 minutes to reach 130°.)
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and ¼ cup water.
- When the fish is done, use a thin metal spatula to transfer the fillets and mushrooms to a platter. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve with the sauce on the side.