Sunday, 10 August 2014

Turbo turbo(t) - speedy black bean steamed turbot

As I planned for a post this week, I was finding an excuse to go back to the wonderful Moxons Fishmongers on Bute Street, South Kensington. Great service, great fish and there's just that satisfying thing about trying to go against the supermarket grain and do your big shop in all the farmers' markets, butchers, bakers, local grocery stores etc. Especially when all the supermarkets are within a 2 minute walk from your house, and they scream convenience. It's good to slow down in London sometimes and make a morning out of it, planning, walking, chatting to shopkeepers. Very un-London. However, my British politeness got in the way this time, and I was so quietly angry with myself once I had left the shop. Having to settle for some turbot as opposed to another fish I was hoping for, the guy takes care, time and attention to skin, fillet and deconstruct this whopping turbot. What he said was I could get two fillets out of it, but it was a generous four servings...three more than I really needed for a blog post in fairness. And when it came round to paying, I just had to suck up £25 and pray I wouldn't ruin the fish when I got home. Even my portioning for black cod hasn't been that bad! Leaving the fishmongers slightly cheated and out of pocket, I still find it annoying that I was so British about the whole thing and just coughed up the money...

But boy, did that turbot deliver. Soft, silky and delicate... I was glad that I steamed the fillets to maintain it's juicy goodness. 
We are all familiar with black bean sauce, but so many of us turn to the jar. Actually, in most Asian grocery stores the beans are stocked right there. To make your own black bean sauce couldn't be simpler. Turbo speed for a mid-week dinner - it only takes 7 minutes to steam. Quick cook on your rice cooker, steam some asparagus in the last few minutes in the cooker as well and you're good to go. 

2 fillets of turbot (or any other white flat fish)
2 tbs of salted black beans (available in Asian grocery stores)
1/2 spring onion, cut lengthways
1 tbs light soy sauce
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 inch of ginger, cut into thin matchsticks

Prepare your steamer. I use a wide wok with a small stand that my bamboo steamer fits on, but you can always use an upturned little bowl with a plate balanced on top if you don't have the gear. Whilst the water is boiling, chop your spring onion and ginger and wash the salted black beans to remove excess salt. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil together. Mix the ginger and spring onion into sauce.
With your two fillets flat and on each, place a table spoon of beans, the spring onion and ginger into the middle. Roll the fish into a little parcel and place into a steamer which is layered with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Pour the sauce over the fish.
Place into the steamer and cover with a lid. Steam on a medium/high heat for 7 minutes (or until the fish appears white and opaque) and serve immediately with some jasmine rice. There should be some liquid at the bottom of the steamer which will serve great as a light sauce.

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