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Thai Country style Steamed Fish in Garlic Lime Sauce
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Scale and clean fish, then rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Make diagonal slashes (almost to the bone) 2 inches apart on both sides of fish. Set fish on a heat-proof plate that is at least 1 inch smaller in diameter than your wok . Mix together chiles, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice and chicken stock. Adjust for a predominantly sour taste. Pour over fish. Scatter green onions and lemon grass over fish. Fill wok with 2 inches of boiling water. When it comes to a full boil, set fish plate on rack or trivet. Cover tightly. Reduce heat to medium-high and steam for 12 minutes. If meat by the bone is opaque white, fish is done. Garnish fish with cilantro and serve with cooking juices. Accompany with steamed rice. Serves 4 with other entrees. NOTES : Thai cooks use an oval, metal pedestal plate, which comfortably holds whole small fish weighing from one to 1 1/2 pounds. In the American kitchen you can use a heat-proof glass pie plate or a shallow bowl that is at least one inch smaller in diameter than your steamer. A 14-inch wok with a dome- shaped cover makes a perfect steamer when fitted with a Chinese steaming rack, a 12-inch round cake-cooling rack or a two- inch-high trivet to support the pie plate or bowl. An alternative is to use an ob long Dutch oven for steaming, and an oblong plate for the fish. For the following recipe, use whole trout, sea bass, perch or red snapper. If whole fish are not available, fish steaks and fillets are convenient and just as delicious. I'm considering using a 1/4 cup of coconut milk (not fresh coconut juice and only 1/4 cup of chicken stock next time. I tweaked this recipe by using the diced up, non-heart sections of the lemongrass in the steaming water. I used Tilapia for the fish, bought it at a little Asian grocery where you pick them live out of a tank. The rest of the meal : jasmine rice, baby bok choy in oyster sauce. Rule of thumb when cooking fish : 10 mins per inch of thickness (measured at thickest portion of fish). This has always worked for me.
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