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Steamed barramundi, chilli black beans and pickled mustard greens

"I like the lightness of steamed fish," says Liong. "Barramundi lends itself perfectly to steaming - it's so juicy and tender, and pairs well with heavier winter flavours like pickles and preserved vegetables. I also like the savoury acidity that mustard greens add to this dish." Start this recipe three days ahead to make the ginger oil and salted chilli.

You'll need

400 gm piece of barramundi, skin on and cut into 50gm pieces 60 gm pickled mustard greens, thinly sliced (see note) 20 gm ginger, peeled and cut into julienne 30 ml Shaoxing wine 2 spring onions, very thinly sliced 1 cup each (loosely packed) coriander and Thai basil   Ginger oil 100 ml vegetable oil 50 gm ginger, skin on and washed thoroughly   Salted chilli 30 gm long red chilli, trimmed and chopped 4 garlic cloves 10 gm peeled ginger, coarsely chopped   Chilli black bean paste 3 tsp chilli crisp sauce (Lao Gan Ma brand) 2 tsp chopped fermented salted black beans (see note) 1 tsp white vinegar ½ tsp caster sugar   White soy dressing 1 tsp rice wine vinegar 1 tsp caster sugar 1½ tbsp soy sauce 1¾ tbsp white soy sauce (see note)


  • 01
  • For ginger oil, blend oil and ginger in a blender until smooth, then place in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring and scraping base of pan often to prevent catching, until oil is fragrant (15-20 minutes). Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container for 3 days to infuse. Strain into a bowl through muslin or a fine strainer. This recipe makes more than you need here, but it will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a month.
  • 02
  • For salted chilli, process ingredients in a small food processor with a generous teaspoonful (6gm) of fine salt until finely chopped, then transfer to a container with a lid, cover and stand at room temperature overnight to ferment. Refrigerate in an airtight container until required.
  • 03
  • For chilli bean paste, combine ingredients and salted chilli in a bowl, then refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop.
  • 04
  • For white soy dressing, whisk ingredients and 50ml water in a bowl and set aside.
  • 05
  • Place barramundi on a large plate that fits inside a large steamer. Cover generously with chilli bean paste, top with mustard greens and ginger, pour Shaoxing over and steam over high heat, until fish is cooked and a skewer inserted pierces the flesh easily (10-12 minutes).
  • 06
  • To serve, transfer fish to a serving dish, pour dressing over, top with spring onions, coriander and Thai basil and drizzle with ginger oil to taste.

Note Pickled mustard greens and fermented salted black beans are available from Asian supermarkets. White soy sauce, also called shiro shoyu, is available from Japanese grocers such as Tokyo Mart and Chef's Armoury.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A savoury pinot noir, such as a 2011 Glaetzer-Dixon Rêveur Pinot Noir.

Featured in

Aug 2015

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