Chinese Baked Whole Fish with Ginger and Spring Onions. You traditionally serve whole steamed or baked fish at the end of the Chinese New Year Feast. It symbolises an increase in prosperity. In Chinese dialect fish 鱼 Yú, sounds like the word for surplus. It is believed in China if you can save something at the end of the old year, you will make more in the next. 年年有余 Niánnián yǒu yú May you always have more than you need!
You can prepare lots of other dishes for your Lunar New Year banquet. Why not try dumplings which can be filled with pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables? Niangao a sticky rice cake with dates and chestnuts. Cantonese shrimp which signifies good fortune and happiness and Spring Rolls. Spring rolls are thought to look like gold bars and are a symbol for prosperity.
Spring rolls were first made in China, a rolled pancake filled with the first of the fresh Spring vegetables. You serve them for the Spring Festival. A Cantonese speciality, they are now made from a number of ingredients. This can include cabbage, sometimes meat, wrapped in a thin pastry.
My Baked Whole Fish with Ginger and Spring Onions
Traditionally in China the fish is Catfish or Carp but for my recipe I have chosen Sea Bream. This is a great fish to bake whole, with a firm flesh that lifts easily from the bone. However, you could choose Sea Bass, but it is now quite expensive to buy. I also like to use stem ginger as I like the flavour it brings to the dish without having to cook out raw ginger. If you have a large steamer, you can serve your fish steamed but I like the crispy skin from oven baking. The secret is dousing the fish in the sauce immediately before service.
Baked Whole Fish with Ginger and Spring Onions
- 1 large non-stick baking tray
- Preheat the oven to 400 F / 200 C / Gas Mark 6. Finely grate the stem ginger and mix with the sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.
- Pour the vegetable oil onto a large deep sided, non-stick baking tray and place in the fish.
- Drizzle one dessert spoon of the soy ginger mix over each fish.
- Place in the oven and cook for twenty-five to thirty minutes until the skin is crisp and the fish is cooked. Remove from the oven.
- Carefully lift each fish on to a pre-warmed plate and spoon over the remaining dressing and garnish with spring onions and chilli. Served with steamed rice.