January 26, 2018

Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish 欖角豆豉味噌蒸魚

Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish 欖角豆豉味噌蒸魚

Chen Pi, chinese, chinese dried olive, fermented black bean, miso paste, recipe, steamed fish, Three Bean, 味噌, 欖角, 蒸魚, 豆豉
By Published: 2018-01-26
OM-Goshilicious!!  Here's a truly beautiful something whipped up by my 老公, our resident expert of all things steamed and fishlike.  A super sexy version of the classic Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce, perfect for that super special and mandatory fish dish for the Chinese New Year.  We call it the Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish but that's kinda cheating cuz it's not actually three beans, it just looks like it.  Anyways...this Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish, or 欖角豆豉味噌蒸魚, infuses a most interesting and tongue enticing combination of three traditional flavors, the Chinese black olive, miso and Chinese fermented black bean, each quite strong on their own merit, to come together in a sauce that is the perfect complement to the delicate and tender steamed fish.

Chen Pi, chinese, chinese dried olive, fermented black bean, miso paste, recipe, steamed fish, Three Bean, 味噌, 欖角, 蒸魚, 豆豉,

Here is the first bean, except it's not a bean, it just looks kinda like a bean.  Okay, okay, I'm stretching it here a bit but Three Beans sounded like a great name!  This is actually the dried version of the Chinese olive, or 橄欖,  which when dried and pitted is known as 欖角.   I looove this stuff, we always have a little bag of it in the fridge, and use it when steaming fish, pork and even tofu to add a unique licorice-y, slightly sweet, slightly bitter or 甘 flavor kick.  You can find this dried Chinese black olive 欖角 at the wet market or at your local Chinese grocery store.

Chen Pi, chinese, chinese dried olive, fermented black bean, miso paste, recipe, steamed fish, Three Bean, 味噌, 欖角, 蒸魚, 豆豉,

The second bean is a real bean, the soy bean in the japanese miso paste.  Miso paste 味噌 is soy beans fermented into a sweet, salty, pungent umami flavored paste.  It's a fabulous way to bring fermented foods into your diet.  Miso comes in different colors ranging from white miso to red miso, or mild to more pungent, and you can use whatever you prefer.  We used red miso for its more pungent and aromatic flavor.

You can find miso paste at any Asian grocery store or even at many regular supermarkets here in Hong Kong.

Chen Pi, chinese, chinese dried olive, fermented black bean, miso paste, recipe, steamed fish, Three Bean, 味噌, 欖角, 蒸魚, 豆豉,

The third bean is also a real bean,  the dried fermented black bean, or 豆豉,  that is so often used in Chinese cooking, with it's earthy, pungent, beany flavor.  Another fermented food for your diet!  

Chen Pi, chinese, chinese dried olive, fermented black bean, miso paste, recipe, steamed fish, Three Bean, 味噌, 欖角, 蒸魚, 豆豉,

For the fish we used the Big Head Carp, or 大頭魚, which is a freshwater fish with a meaty yet tender, sweet  flesh.  You can use any fish that you normally steam with, any freshwater or salt water fish with firm yet tender and sweet flesh.

And that's it.  These three beans (or two beans and one sorta bean) are mixed together with a bit of the fragrant citrus of chen pi, also known as dried tangerine peel or 陳皮 (check out our post on how to make your own chen pi) to form the most fragrant, flavorful, pungent, salty, sweet, umami, perfectly just slightly bitter mishmash of everything good and yummilicious.  Normally I don't abide with mishmashes as the flavors tend to get lost but this one works, riotous strong confident flavors in perfect harmony, trust me, you'll enjoy this sexy Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish!

Chen Pi, chinese, chinese dried olive, fermented black bean, miso paste, recipe, steamed fish, Three Bean, 味噌, 欖角, 蒸魚, 豆豉,


Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish Recipe  欖角豆豉味噌蒸魚
Prep time:    Cook time:

Paste Ingredients:
1 piece dried tangerine peel, chen pi 陳皮
8 pieces dried chinese olive 欖角
2 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp fermented black bean 豆豉
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp Shao Hsing rice wine
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb whole fish or fillet, 650g
4 stalks spring onion, white half only
8 slices ginger
1/4 cup shredded spring onion
1 small chili pepper (optional)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

Directions:
Make three bean paste:  Soak chen pi in warm water until soft and then sliver.  Chop the dried chinese olive into small pieces.  Smash black beans to break apart and flatten.  Smash and mince garlic.  Add garlic, rice wine, sugar and oil to black beans and mash until a paste forms.  Add in dried chinese olive, miso paste and chen pi and mix thoroughly.

Wash fish, if using whole fish check for any missed scales*. Dry with paper towels. On the steaming plate, lay down the halved spring onions stalks, then place the fish on top of them so that the fish is somewhat raised up from the plate. Tuck ginger slices inside the fish cavity and along the top of the fish. If using fish fillets tuck ginger under and over the fish. Smear on a topping of three bean paste evenly over the top of the fish (except the head and the tail fin). Steam 8 mins over high heat. Check for doneness with a sharp knife, checking that the fish easily flakes and does not stick to the fish's bone (if any). Remove immediately from heat. 

Taste test the juices accumulated on the steaming plate. If pleasant to taste with no fishiness, retain about 2 tbsp and pour off the rest. If any hint of fishiness, pour off completely. Remove any ginger slices that are visible. 

Top fish with shredded spring onions and chilies if using. Heat up your oil until smoking hot, then pour evenly over fish, especially over the spring onions and chilies, being careful of the sizzling oil. This releases the aromatics of the spring onions. Lastly splash in your soy sauce around the fish and it's ready to serve. Enjoy!

*Tip: To remove missed scales, run a paring knife along the skin against the grain of the scales. Use your hands to check for scales and water to rinse the scales away. Or get yourself a fish scaler .




More Fishilicious Recipes at The Hong Kong Cookery:

chinese, mala sauce, recipe, Sichuan, Spicy Fish Stew, Water Boiled fish, 水煮魚, 麻辣Sichuan Spicy Fish Stew 水煮魚



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