December 13, 2005

steamed pompano

We're lucky to have quite a few fresh fish markets here in our area. I treat myself to whole fish when I get a chance. My husband likes salmon and grouper when cooked right with absolutely no fishy smell and taste but he doesn't care much for other kinds of fish unless they're sashimi-raw at the Japanese restaurant. Having been raised in Manila where fish and seafood have always been part of our everyday diet, I must say I get cravings for fish. Frozen fish or ready-to-cook and breaded fish fillets may be available in groceries here but they're tasteless compared to fresh whole fish like this pompano. I think pompano is at it's best when steamed and topped with white sauce, but I had to try this Chinese-style steamed fish recipe I got from the Food Network. It's very simple and quick to make with sliced ginger and scallions. Very hot oil is poured on top of the cooked fish to slightly toast the fish skin as well as the scallions and ginger slices.The photo above was taken right at the dock of a popular restaurant last summer, where they sell the catch of the day every afternoon. All sizes of red snappers and a big grouper were available that day. Direct from the fishing boats and guaranteed fresh. Red snapper is a beautiful fish. I usually make another popular Filipino fish dish, "escabeche", whenever I buy red snapper. Although "sinigang" or sour soup with tamarind and "paksiw", another sour fish dish with vinegar, are good possibilities for this type of fish.

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