West Lake Fish

Main Courses > Seafood/Fish

1 whole white-fleshed fish, such as rockfish, lake trout or sea bass, about 3 pounds, cleaned

1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or Sherry
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 or 4 slices ginger, crushed
2 scallions, crushed
Water for poaching
1 tablespoon vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup molasses
5 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup shredded scallions

Holding a sharp knife or cleaver at a 45° angle, score the thickest part of the fish with deep
parallel cuts crosswise, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Do this on both sides. Place the fish in a bowl
or pan. Mix the marinade ingredients and rub them over the fish, letting them penetrate the
scored parts. Marinate for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the scallion and ginger before proceeding
with the cooking. In a wok large enough to hold the fish, boil enough water to submerge it. It's all right if the head
and tail are not submerged. Add the vinegar to the water. Place the fish on a large piece of cheesecloth sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Using the
cheesecloth to hold it, gently lower the fish into the boiling water, turn off the heat and cover the
wok tightly. Let the fish stand for 20 minutes to finish cooking. If, at the end of that time, the flesh
still looks translucent in the scored portions, bring it to a simmer to finish the cooking. Remove
the fish to a platter, and discard the cheesecloth. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid you cooked the fish in, and discard the rest. In a separate pan,
combine the reserved liquid with the sauce 4ingredients, except for the cornstarch. Bring it to a
boil. Add about half the cornstarch paste, stirring vigorously to prevent lumps from forming. Add
more cornstarch paste for a thicker sauce. Taste, and adjust for seasoning. Pour the sauce over
the fish, and sprinkle the fish with the shredded scallions. Serve with white rice. Serves 6.