This is a signature Teochew dish. The Teochews love their ingredients fresh and the steamed rabbitfish is part and parcel of an elaborate spread that the Teochews eat for brunch called the “Teochew Muay” (潮州糜). Teochew Muay can be likened to the Spanish tapas, where one consumes a large selection of small dishes except that the meal is eaten with plain rice congee.

The consumption of rice congee with a huge platter of at least ten side dishes is a key feature of Minnan cuisine. This practice can be seen from Taiwan to Shantou in Canton where the Teochews live. As a result of the Teochew diaspora, Teochew Muay is eaten in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and even in France.

What mainly distinguishes Teochew Muay from the other Minnan rice congee spreads, is this dish, the steamed White-spotted Rabbitfish.

Serving: 2 persons

Ingredients:

  • 4 white-spotted rabbitfish (known in Teochew as “Bair Tor Hir”), descaled and gutted
  • 2 cloves of garlic, shelled and minced
  • 5g fresh ginger, sliced and cut into strip
  • 2 tbs peanut/sunflower oil
  • 2 tbs Shaoxing rice wine
  • 5 ts Chinese fermented soy bean paste
  • salt and white pepper powder to taste

Garnish (optional):

  • 1 sprig of spring onion, chopped
  • 1 sprig of coriander

Dip sauce:

  • 4 tbs light soy sauce
  • 6 Thai bird’s eye chillis, minced
  • Juice from 2 calamansi or half a green lime

Steps:

  1. Wash your fish well, especially the stomach as it can be very bitter. Rub with salt and white pepper powder and marinate for about 15 minutes.
  2. Place your fish on a steam-proof plate which is indented so that it can contain the rising fluid level after steaming. Pour your oil and rice wine over the fish. Add about 200ml of water. Spread the soy bean paste over the fish. Sprinkle the garlic and ginger over them. Bring your steamer to boil and place your plate in it. Steam for about 8 minutes.
  3. Prepare your dip sauce by putting the ingredients together. Serve in a small dish.
  4. Once the fish is ready. Bring it out of the steamer and garnish with spring onion and coriander.
  5. Serve with the dip sauce.

 

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