Proper Ways To Steam Fish To Preserve Its Food Nutrients and Flavor

Steaming is a cooking technique that may be underrated and believed to come out with food that is tasteless or bland. This is why it is usually associated with hospital dishes and those eaten by people on a diet. I, myself didn’t even care to eat steamed food when I was a kid. But spending most of my time in the kitchen as I enjoy cooking a lot, made me realize that steaming is simply the best method to come out with a nutritious and delicious food product simply because it is not immersed in hot liquid. There are two methods of doing it, one is cooking the food above a suspended liquid and the other is cooking the food in its own vapors on a closed environment. I choose to do the later because texture and moisture is preserved as there is no additional hot fat in the cooking process. This may not have the browning that makes protein richer and savory in the food, but this is sure to maintain its original flavor.
When I use the second process, I use a parchment paper (usually a foil), or a banana leaf. I use banana leaf more often as it costs me nothing, readily available in our backyard and most of all, enhances more the subtle flavor of the food. There are two important things to bear in mind when choosing this method. First, pick the best quality ingredients, very fresh if possible, to avoid caramelizing that may alter the food’s appearance and taste. Second, seal the package tightly to avoid vapors from escaping and turned the food dry. For some recommendations, use fillet of sole, salmon, red snapper, tuna, tilapia or milk fish. I use tilapia more often or milk fish as they are more affordable in our place.
Here’s how I cook my steamed tilapia:
Ingredients:
1 large tilapia, (remove scales, split into a butterfly fillet, remove gills and internal organs and wash thoroughly with fresh water)
salt and pepper
banana leaf for packing
For the filling:
1 large size tomato
1 thumb size ginger
1 medium size onion
3 cloves garlic
A� tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine
Instructions:
Place a rack in the middle of an oven and pre-heat to 500A�F. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by chopping, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and onions, add lemon juice and white wine and mix them altogether. Rub tilapia with salt and pepper. Spread over the fillings in the split-butterfly fish and fold. Place at the end part of the banana leaf and roll, fold both sides twice making sure that vapors won’t escape during the cooking process and tie firmly with a cotton string. Place baking pan in the oven for at least five minutes. Put the package and bake for 15 minutes. Transfer in a platter by removing the string, unwrap the leaf to reveal the fish and slide it into a platter together with the sauce. Serve hot with plain rice to complete the meal.
One option for me when oven is not available is to cook it over a stove top. I use a wok, put a cup of water, place a rack in the middle and put the packet on top of the rack and cover with a lid. Cooking time depends on the kind of fish and the thickness of the fillet. Whatever kind it may be, try experimenting on it. You will surely love and enjoy doing it.Kuliner kota Malang

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