Steamed Fish with Spicy XO Sauce with Blue Dotted Grouper (Cephalopholis argus). Very fresh grouper steamed into perfection with savoury chinese gourmet xo sauce, a simply elegant with a kicking umami flavour. The fresh fish flesh is firm, succulent, and sweet with glutinous smooth texture with a kicking umami flavour of premius quality dried seafood in Chinese XO Sauce , what a heavenly threat.
XO sauce is a savoury bomb that burst into umami flavour once you put it in your mouth, that’s the correct definition for my taste buds. Chinese XO sauce made of several premium dried seafoods, including dried scallops or conpoy, dried fish and shrimp, sometimes crab and shrimp roe, Chinese ham/Jinhua ham, and abalone that rehydrated, shredded and then fried and mixed into XO Sauce. The roughly chopped rehydrated dried seafood then cooked slowly with chili peppers, onions, and garlic then cognag or other old liquor added, this is what XO (extra old) Sauce name comes from. I’m using Lee Kum Kee Brand XO Sauce for this recipe, it’s savoury enought even without any Iham at all (it’s also Halal). Lee Kum Kee penetrated Indonesia with their halal version sauces and condiments because the Indonesian majority population is moslem. I love using XO Sauce as a condiment or as a flavouring agent, i recently made my own and hopefully i can share it a.s.a.p.
Steamed live grouper fish with XO Sauce is simply what you’ve served if you want to impressed your future mother in law if you want to married your Chinese descent boyfriend. Simple steaming fish technique is highly appreciated in mostly Asian, especially Chinese descent, but not for Bataknese people like my family tree. Batak people used to spiced up any dish, so light seasoning that present the natural sweetness flavour of the fish such as Hongkong Style Steamed Live Humpback Mouse Grouper that probably cost you a lot of money won’t impress any batak mother in law. Batak people apreciate the freshness of seafood, we used to pickled fish called Naniura or Spicy Pickled Raw Grass Carp Fish, and again it’s spiced up with with lots of spicy chili and andaliman pepper. My bataknese descent mother used to steamed fish lately due to health issue concern, mostly spicy Thai Style Steamed Whole Fish Recipe that suits with my family licking that adore spicy food.
XO sauce fish in this recipe using Blue Dotted Grouper (Cephalopholis argus), it’s also known as red rock cod, seven star grouper or coral trout. In Indonesia, we used to called this fish as kerapu lodi, kerapu sunu hitam or black grouper, the small blue dotted grouper called kerapu tungsin or kerapu tungsen, while the larger blue dotted called kerapu bintang. This fish is highly regarded as a fancy dinner menu and usually cooked once it alive prior to served in the table, the price is dropped once it dead and this is why live grouper fish usually displayed in the aquarium window infront of the high end Chinese restaurant. My grouper was tagged about 42 USD/kg once it alive in Grand Lucky Supermarket, Jakarta, called me a lucky bastard; i got this lil grouper with only 7 USD/Kg tag because the fish section staff told me that this fish is just dead or about 3 hours before i got there, just a great deal very-very fresh grouper fish for steaming.
Steamed fish diet it’s a part of a healthy living. Steaming food preserved it’s natural taste and most of it’s nutrients withoud adding enormous ammount of unnecessary calories. Don’t you know that deep frying fish can triple it’s calories??? Don’t be shock that deep fried fish infact left only half amount of it’s proteins and vitamins due to high heating that can reach about 180C compare to 100 C of steaming process. Beside, the natural unsaturated fatty acid mostly retain in steaming process. Unsaturated Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid considered as a GOOD FAT that cleanse clotted cholestrol or BAD FAT in your capilary. I guess it’s better be increased steaming food intake in your daily life from now on. Boring taste of steamed fish it’s not an excuse now, it’s before you try this kicking savoury steamed fish with XO sauce.
I love steamed fish with XO Sauce, my previously recipe of Steamed Tiger Prawn with Spicy Chinese XO Sauce turn out stunning dish even with very simple preparation. After that, i almost XO sauce anyting, XO Sauce beef steak using a cheap ribeye cut, XO sauce fried rice, noodle and several kind of stir fried veggies goes with the sauce, obviously turn out delicious. Then i just had an idea to steam whole grouper fish with the XO Sauce.
Delicious steamed whole fish requires freshness as the key to avoid any fishy and muddy aromas. First, you should choose the freshly catch fish or live fish that swimming in the tank is preferred. Rub and also brush throughly the fish upper cavity ribs area, below the fish back bone, there’s a blackish dark red organ which is actually the fish kidney that should be fully removed or your steamed fish gonna be muddy and fishy. Some people like to steamed the fish twice; first, the fish was steamed until half done, and then the dripping liquid is discarded, after that the rest of the ingredients added and the fish is steamed until done. I’ve never discard the liquid once i handle a live fish or a very-very fresh ones (except freshwater fish) because discarding the dripping liquid means discarded the nutritional juices from the fish, and i think it’s such a waste, that’s why i simply place the chopped fresh chillies, garlic, Homemade Chinese Sausage/La Chang and XO Sauce over the fish and steam it directly until done
Steamed fish recipe is easy, but a little bit tricky. Timing is the key of any steaming seafood. DO NOT OVERCOOKED! fish because the flesh gonna be tough, dried, flaky and rubberry.. You should stop steaming any whole fish until nearly done, the remaining heat will throughly cooked the fish meat in the platter. When you throughly cooked the fish in the steamer, it will be overcooked once you serving it in the dinner table. Medium size whole grouper fish need about 7 to 10 minutes to be cooked in the steamer.
Recipe Steamed Whole Fish with XO Sauce, Chili and Garlic (Grouper, Kerapu Sunu Hitam, Coral Trout or Rock Cod)
- 1 medium size whole grouper fish weighed about 500 gr, cleaned, gutted and scalled (you can replace with any white flesh fish, live ones would be preferred)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 40 gr XO Sauce ( I’m using Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce)
- 1 tbs of rock sugar, dissolved in 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp premium mushroom sauce
- 1/2 tsp of sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 cm knob of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped chilies
- Sea Salt for taste
Garnish: Chopped chili, garlic chives and shredded spring onion
Dipping *optional : Chinese Black Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Jullienned Ginger, Chopped Bird Eye Chillies
How to Make Steamed Fish with XO Sauce:
- Rub the grouper fish lighly with salt and lemon juice, set aside
- Put the fish in heatproof steaming bowl
- Put half of the chopped inside the grouper fish belly
- Put the remaining chopped chili, ginger and garlic over the fish, rub the fish gently
- Place the XO sauce over the grouper fish
- Pour the soy sauce and rock sugar mixture and add some extra oil from the XO Sauce
- Steam the fish about 7-10 minutes until nearly done
- Let is rest about 5 minutes and the remaining heat cooked the fish flesh throughly
- Put the fish in a serving plate, garnish with chopped chili, garlic chives and shredded spring onion
Oh, yes, this is my kind of dish.
I’m not sure if I can find this precise variety of fish here, but this way of cooking fish is one of my favourite ways!
I love red grouper and this dish is spectacular Doc! Are you as talented a dentist as you are a chef?
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What a fantastic fish dish & so beautifully presented too! So special & just wonderful too!
Mouthwatering! love the idea of the fish coral here.
I’m in Germany right now and there is not a chance I get any live fresh fish like that. When I get back home I look for the Chinese sauce. I wish I could have a serving of your beautiful dish.
So pretty! Steamed fish looks great especially with the wonderful XO sauce.
jadi pengen bisa masa nih guee… xixixi
We have same time taste, Dedy. I like grouper fish too, especially with the black colour soy sauce. I also like gem fish. However, I don’t really like eating skin fish 😀
Aduh kak … itu ikan pose nya kok sanggar banget, mulut nya mengangga jadi serem hahaha … bikin ngiler
Kak … pose ikan di foto pertama nya sanggar, mulut terbuka dan siap melhat hahaha
I assume you mean fresh fish as opposed to live. I must try streaming fish sometime soon Dedy 🙂
yupp, freshly caught or recently dead fish….
It looks delicious! But I must ignore the fish’s expression… 😉
hahaha yang kepala ikan ya mba 🙂
Ded, kenapa kalau masak ikan, kepalanya harus dimasukin ya?
iya mbak, orang batak sama tionghoa biasanya klo masak ikan dr kepala sampai ke ekor. dimasak utuh….
filosofinya biar gak ada yg kebuang kali ya….
this fish looks so beautiful that I’d rather keep it in aquarium!:P
Buuut… your dish looks scrumptious too… so hard to decide now!
Beautiful steamed fish. I cook with XO quite a bit as the boys love it’s spicy taste. I think you might like it extra extra spicy as I see you have just a few bird chili peppers on top as well. Take Care
Delicious way to make fish! Looks yummy!
Sayang aku tidak makan ikan 😦 menunya sepertinya nikmat sekali Dedy..salam dan selamat hari Senin yaaa….
kalau masuk ke blog ini pasti selalu ngiler…sekalian nanya ne kalau ikan sebelah cocoknya dimasak apa yach,…
enak semua kok mas, aku suka di pan fried pake margarin atau butter gitu aja filetnya, terus dikasih saus sesuai selera…
I love steamed fish, even if it’s not very flavoured- especially if it’s very fresh. Yours looks so good though!! We can’t really get fresh fish here where I live, only in the occasional Asian fish shops but then they’re usually really really expensive
I love a fresh steamed whole fish. We love XO sauce and a kick of spice!
That’s my fave brand of XO sauce, Dedy! Gosh, your fish looks delish! I wanna tuck in now!
I can just imagine how steaming locked in all those fabulous flavours! Grouper really isn’t the prettiest fish, but prepared this way it looks stunning 🙂
Ooh, this looks so wonderful – what a beautiful presentation! And the fish looks cooked to perfection. Wonderful!
And now youre featuring my favourite fish, truly delectable.
Good sauce for it, for sure! Grouper is great, but unfortunately, it’s not available in the store here.
I love steamed fish- I had it very often when I lived in Dublin. It was delicious! Dedy you’re a dangerous genius in the kitchen! And it’s great 😀
Hi Dedy, this steamed garoupa is so delectable and it’s even more tempting and irresistible with added XO sauce. I can practically have the whole fish to myself, hahaha… thanks for sharing Dedy and warmest regards 🙂
Hi Chef,this steamed fish looks so elegant plated this way…a beautiful dish with loads of fresh flavors….a definite try and very moreish delicacy,thanks 🙂
Love it like crazy. Heard of the sauce and now I have to look out for it.
to yg u masak nya semua masakan ini?
iya ito, semuanya yg nyiapin, masak, plating sampai photo aku kerjain sendiri….
omg aamzing hahahhaa
This looks so good. I really love grouper. You had me at umami.
Another triumph Dedy. Well done indeed. A beautiful looking fish.
I have always wanted to try XO sauce and we can get that brand here. Thanks for the recommendation. AND the great recipe!
Your steamed fish must have been so tasty. We can buy live lobsters here in New Hampshire but not live fish. We are fortunate though to be able to buy very fresh seafood.
Steamed fish will depend a lot on the type of fish used and it must be very very very fresh to be nice.
Your grouper looks cooked to perfection! And the sauce sounds wonderful, too!
That looks so great I would gobble it up! But imagine trying to serve it to a kid, haha!
Looks simple and delicious!
A wonderful recipe, something easier for me, as I am more familiar with fish recipes than pork or beef. I never had XO sauce. will be searching for it.
Dang…. what a delicious feed. You are my cheffing hero Dedy. 🙂