What I like about steaming fish is that the natural flavor of seafood becomes more apparent without being masked with grill marks or if it’s roasted in some skillet with a generous amount of fat. It goes without saying that the pristine quality of the fish is the most significant factor in steaming your fish.
Recently I have had great success with cooking local bass, trout and salmon over vapor. The biggest standout was Floridian snapper, which is naturally rich because of its terrific fat content. Sometimes steamed fish is a bit difficult to handle since it tends to break easily, but a good trick is to wrap the fish into small plastic bag and this way the fish will steam in its own juices and remain intact.
Steamed Red Snapper
(recipe yields four portions)
2 filleted snappers, de-scaled and boneless
2 teaspoons sea salt and more for seasoning
cayenne, to taste
- In a shallow pan mix 2-teaspoons salt with 2 cups of water and mix to dissolve.
- Put the snapper into the salt and water mixture and steep for 30 minutes. Put the fish onto a plate and dry with kitchen paper towel.
- Cut fish into four equal-sized portions.
- Spread a 12x14 inch sheet of plastic wrap over a kitchen counter. Place one piece of snapper, skin-side down, into the middle of the plastic wrap and fold the plastic wrap over the fish. The fish should be tightly hugged with the plastic wrap. Wrap the rest of the fish the same way.
- Heat water in a double boiler then add the fish. Cover the boiler with a tight fitting lid and steam the fish slowly. The fish will cook within 10 minutes, when you insert a small knife easily into the middle.
I recommend serving steamed fish over a panache of sun-kissed farmer’s market vegetables such as quickly sautéed red peppers, zucchini and cucumbers dressed with a simple lemon & olive oil vinaigrette, tossed with a healthy portion of chopped parsley. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh pepper for seasoning and that will complete your steamed fish.