Friday, September 2, 2011

Steamed fish?

What is shaoxin rice wine? Or what is it's nearest island-available without breaking the bank equivalent?

I was being very doubtful about steamed fish. My memories of this with butter and parsley - white and quite tasteless are not encouraging. One of our visitors --Young med student -- was saying how delicious it was Chinese style. I must have mentioned this to an Asian friend when we were over Melbourne some months ago - and today he e-mailed me the recipe. I believe they use wrasse (which I make fish cakes from, and feed the cats on) for it, so I'd like to try it as they're among our most common fish - but really not much good in other ways. I think I may get quite a lot of consumer resistance here from Barbs, whose mum had ulcers and liked steamed, plain, fish. But I'll try it. Once.


  1. I suspect the island shops are completely lacking in asian ingredients... Probably you should have gone shopping in an Asian store in Melbourne before you left...

    My google-fu suggests that in addition to Japanese (cooking) sake - which one suspects is also unavailable - a medium-dry sherry might be a decent substitute though that may be just as hard to get on flinders at an affordable price.

    Something that might work could be home made plum wine (or brandy or similar diluted).

  2. Dry Sherry will usually work. If you can get a bottle of the wine. If you have anyone travelling to the island, it's usually very cheap in Asian groceries ie $3 - $10.

    Dad did a chinese cooking class years ago when it was hard to get and was given that as an alternative.

    Dry White Wine won't work, different flavours.

    Good luck with the steamed fish.

  3. There's a page over here with various suggestions about substitutes: pale dry sherry, gin, dry white wine, apple juice, white grape juice.

  4. Steamed fish works well with species that are pretty tasteless to start with, because the taste has to be all in the marinade and the sauce anyway. Consider combinations of light soy, ginger, garlic, spring onions, mushrooms...

  5. Thank you all. I've been told I am an idiot and the local supermarket stocks it, and it is cheap (and vile).

    Wrasse - which are exported live from here to HK are exactly what you describe I suspect, Glenda. Mind you, oddly, they are the cats favorite fish.