1. Make your paste! Using a teaspoon, peel the ginger before finely slicing it into matchsticks. Next, finely chop your garlic and add it, the ginger, dry fried shallots, soy bean paste, plum sauce, sesame oil and 2 tbsp of water into a food processor. Blend until you achieve a smooth paste.
(Hint: if you find it difficult to peel your garlic, try dropping the cloves into a bowl water and then, on a chopping board, smashing them with the side of a knife! Make sure to mind your fingers).
2. Clean the fish and place on a large plate. Spoon the paste generously over the top and set the dish aside, ready for steaming.
3. Fill your wok halfway with water, placing your steam stand in the centre. (Hint: if you don't have a steam stand, just use a heavy-bottomed bowl placed in the centre of the water. Make sure the top of the bowl remains out of the liquid so that when you position your fish plate on top, it won't touch the surface)
4. Turning your wok up to a high heat, place your plate of fish carefully on top of the steam stand and cover with a lid. Steam for 8-12 minutes, dependent on the size of your fish.
5. While the fish is steaming, finely slice your spring onion. To julienne the chillies, first halve them longways before scraping out the seeds and finely slicing the flesh into short, thin strips. Place the spring onion and chilli into a bowl of ice water and set aside.
6. Once the fish is ready, remove it from the wok. Scatter over a generous amount of the refreshed red chilli and spring onion over your fish, then in a clean wok heat 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil to smoking point and pour over the spring-onion-chilli mix.
7. Lastly, douse the fish in light soy sauce and serve!
How To Make Tao Cheo Whole Steamed Fish
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