FOOD & WINE – A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry

Bream with ginger, soy and spring onions

Bream with ginger, soy and spring onions

Article from FOCUS Magazine – Autumn 14 issue.

Dishes created by award-winning food writer Diana Henry when she started to crave a different kind of diet

Bream with ginger, soy and spring onions

One of the cleanest, simplest recipes in the book. If you’re trying to cut down your fat intake for whatever reason you don’t have to fry the chilli and ginger, though the contrast in texture with the steamed flesh of the fish is wonderful. You can just steam them on top of the fish fillets along with the rest of the ginger instead.

Serves 4
31⁄2 tbsp soy sauce
31⁄2 tbsp rice wine
4 tsp caster sugar
4 x 175g (6oz) bream fillets (or similar; sea bass is lovely, but more expensive)
2.5cm (1in) root ginger, peeled and shredded
6 tbsp groundnut oil
2 red chillies, deseeded and shredded
8 spring onions, trimmed, cut in half horizontally, then julienned

Mix the soy sauce, rice wine and sugar. Put the bream fillets on a plate and sprinkle 4 tbsp of the soy sauce mixture and half the ginger over them. Leave for 15 minutes.

Pour water into a large saucepan on top of which a steaming basket will fit. Bring the water to the boil. Set the steamer basket on top and put the fish in, on its plate (you can shake the soy mixture off, but leave the ginger). Cover tightly. Steam for seven minutes, remove from the heat and allow to cook in the residual heat for one minute. Check to see that the fish is cooked through.

Heat the oil and quickly fry the chillies and the rest of the ginger until pale gold. Serve the fish with the spring onions strewn over them, then pour on the hot oil with the chillies and ginger. Spoon on some of the remaining soy sauce mixture and put any that remains in a bowl for guests to help themselves at the table.

another way…

Scallops with ginger, soy and spring onions

Chop 4cm (11⁄2cm) peeled root ginger into matchsticks. Divide about one-third of this between 4 clean scallop shells, then top each with 3 scallops and their roes. Chop 6 trimmed spring onions on the diagonal and scatter over the scallops with 6 tbsp of soy sauce. Get a two-tiered steamer ready and put two shells in each of the levels. Steam for six to eight minutes, depending on their size (you should ideally swap the tiers halfway through to ensure they all cook at the same rate). Heat 1 tbsp groundnut oil in a frying pan and sauté the rest of the ginger and 2 finely sliced garlic cloves. The garlic should be pale gold and the ginger like little golden shreds. Scoop out and drain on kitchen paper. Plate the scallops and sprinkle the top with the fried ginger and garlic, adding a drop of toasted sesame oil. Serve immediately. This makes a substantial starter or, with rice and stir-fried greens on the side, a main course for 4.

change-of-appetiteA Change of Appetite by Diana Henry
Published by Mitchell Beazley, £25.00
Cookery photography by Laura Edwards