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Chinese Style Tilapia

INGREDIENTS (for 2 fish)

-2 2lb whole Tilapia, or other white fish scaled, gutted and de-finned (watch video and/or read below for instruction, or buy prepared).

-6 or 7 scallions, chopped

-3 to 4 Tbsp ginger, sliced into slivers

-1 cup soy sauce

-2 Tbsp sugar

-3/4 Tbsp salt kosher salt

-4 Tbsp olive oil

-1 Tbsp black pepper

****note: If you're buying live fish, you want a lively one with clear eyes. You also want to use gloves for most of the preparation****


-If you're preparing fish at home: line sink with newspaper. Place fish inside plastic bag and give it a good whack or 2 on the head with a rolling pin.

-Preheat oven to 450.

to scale:

-Once fish is lifeless, remove fish from bag and place it flat on the newspaper with it's head facing away from you (tail closest to you).

-The scales run from head to tail, so you want to de-scale in the opposite direction. Place your hand and your knife at the tale of the fish. Press firmly and get your knife at a 45 degree angle. Scrape the scales off the fish by applying pressure to the knife and pushing it away from you toward the fish's head. The scales will begin to pop off. Make sure to get all the scales off both sides of the fish, as well as around it's fins and on it's underbelly (watch video for more details). It doesn't have to be perfect, but the more thorough you are, the better.

to gut:

-Once scaled, Turn the fish belly up. You'll see a small hole towards the fishes bottom (near the tail). Place you knife inside that hole and cut upward, toward the head, stopping where the fins meet. Put your hand (preferably gloved) inside the fishes cavity and pull the guts out. Once the fish is empty, rinse it clean.

-Using scissors, cut off the fishes fins. Set the fish aside for now. Immediately throw out the scales, newspaper and guts.

-chop scallions and ginger and set aside.

-In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, salt, olive oil and pepper. Mix and set aside.

-Roll out 2 large sheets of foil on a baking sheet, one on top of the other. Place fish flat on top. Put 1/4  of the ginger and scallions inside the fish's cavity. Pull up side of the foil on either side the fish. Twist ends to create a small boat or package for fish to sit in (see video for visual). Spoon 1/2 the sauce over the fish and place another 1/4 of the scallions and ginger on top of the fish. Close the foil so the fish is enclosed inside the packet. Repeat for the 2nd fish.

-Place both foil packets on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.

TO SERVE: Open one packet and dig in!

TO SERVE: Don't open the packet you won't be eating. Save in the fridge and reheat it for later in the week

Tags: live fish, chinatown, steamed fish, chinese style tilapia, tilapia


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