November 24, 2012

Rabbit Fish Steamed with Tangerine Peel 果皮蒸泥鯭

chinese, Rabbit Fish, Steamed, Tangerine Peel, recipe, steamed fish, 果皮, 蒸, 泥鯭

I've always thought of these little silvery yellow fishes as fishes that should be painted.  So here is my photo version of a fish painting of the delectable rabbit fish otherwise know as the 泥鯭.  This fish is a scavenger fish and can even be fished from the shores of Hong Kong. 

 I know this because I have proudly caught a total number of one of these rabbit fish before (my only fish ever!) and I'm not sure that it even counts because to all appearances the little fish seemed to have thrown himself awkwardly and with firm suicidal intentions onto my hook.  

This video is us fishing for rabbit fish hong kong style.  So much fun!

Nevertheless these little darlings are really wonderful steamed with dried tangerine peel : firm flavorful flesh infused all around with aged citrusy notes.   There is more meat on them than you think.  And less bones than you think.  These fish also make it into another classic southern chinese dish, the rabbit fish congee, or 泥鯭粥.  Yum, yum!

chinese, Rabbit Fish, Steamed, Tangerine Peel, recipe, steamed fish, 果皮, 蒸, 泥鯭
Rabbit Fish Steamed w/ Tangerine Peel  果皮蒸泥鯭
(Prep time: 10 mins  Cook time: 8 mins)


  • 8 medium rabbit fish
  • 2 pieces dried tangerine peel chenpi
  • 2 tbsp spring onion, sliced to rounds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce for seafood (this basically is just sweetened soy sauce, you could make your own if you want by gently melting some rock sugar into regular soy sauce)


Go to the wet market for this fish.  One seldom sees this fish elsewhere.  Usually they come in two sizes, medium and large.  Don't go for the large.  The meat is not as sweet and tender.  Medium size will do just fine.  Have the fishmonger gut and clean for you.  At home, rinse out the cavities under running water and pull off any leftover dangly bits.  Arrange the fish on a plate that fits inside your steamer.  

Soak the dried tangerine peel (again, available at wet market) in hot water for 10-15 minutes until soft enough to chop.  Chop peel into thin slices.  The thinner the better.  Sprinkle evenly over the fish and steam over high heat for 8 minutes.  

Remove from heat.  Sprinkle spring onions over.  Heat the oil in pan til smoke rises.  Pour the oil carefully and evenly over the fish.  You should be able to smell the fragrance rising from the spring onions and tangerine peel as they release their flavor on contact with the hot oil.  Add the soy sauce at the sides of the dish to finish the sauce.  Bring to table and eat!



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