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