Jing Lou Yu (Cantonese-Style Steamed Sea Bass)

This recipe for whole bass, adapted from one in Grace Young’s The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen (Simon & Schuster, 1999), calls for a wok, but a 12″ skillet can also be used. A drizzle of hot oil brings out extra flavor and crisps the skin. This recipe first appeared in our April 2014 issue.

Jing Lou Yu (Cantonese-Style Steamed Sea Bass) Jing Lou Yu  (Cantonese-Style Steamed Sea Bass)
This recipe for whole bass, calls for a wok, but a 12″ skillet can also be used. A drizzle of hot oil brings out extra flavor and crisps the skin.
Yield: serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 (12–14 oz.) whole sea bass, cleaned and dried
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
  • 1 tbsp. shaoxing jiu (Chinese rice wine)
  • 12 tsp. sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, julienned
  • 1 (3″ piece) ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 14 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 6 tender sprigs cilantro

Instructions

  1. lace bass on a baking sheet fitted with a rack; season cavity and outside with salt. Let air-dry 30 minutes; transfer to a heatproof platter. Soak mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water until softened, about 30 minutes; drain and slice. Mix mushrooms, wine, sugar, garlic, half the scallions, and the ginger in a bowl; rub over outside and in cavity of bass.
  2. Bring 1″ water to boil in a 14″ flat-bottomed wok fitted with an 11″ bamboo steamer. Place platter with bass in steamer base and cover; steam until cooked through, 12–15 minutes. Remove platter. Heat oil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering; drizzle over fish. Garnish with remaining scallions, the soy sauce, and cilantro.