Cantonese-Style Braised Whole Fish
Courtesy Larry Ng Wai Kwok, executive chef, China Tang, Las Vegas
For a simple way to observe Chinese New Year this February, serve seafood. Yú, the Chinese word for fish, is “a homonym for ‘abundance year after year,’” says Larry Ng Wai Kwok, executive chef of China Tang restaurant, inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “Having yú for Chinese New Year dinner symbolizes wealth, health and a harmonious family.” He recommends stir-fried bok choy as a side dish, as its green color signifies wealth.
- 2–3 pound whole white fish, like branzino, porgy or snapper, cleaned
- Salt, for seasoning
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- ¾ cup fish stock
- ¼ pound slab bacon, halved
- 2-inch knob ginger, peeled and thin-sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, thin-sliced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons premium light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
Rinse fish and pat dry. Use sharp knife to make three shallow, diagonal cuts on each side of fish. Rub with salt, and rest for 10 minutes.
In large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm ⅛-inch vegetable oil until shimmering. Add fish, and cook until golden brown all over, about 5 minutes per side. Adjust heat, if necessary, to avoid burning.
Add fish stock, bacon, ginger and garlic. Cover pan, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10 minutes more. Remove fish and transfer to serving platter.
Add scallions, oyster sauce and light soy sauce to pan. Raise heat to high, and cook until liquid thickens and reduces by half. Remove bacon and reserve for another use. Whisk in dark soy sauce. Spoon sauce over fish. Serves 4.
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht 2014 Pinot Blanc (Alsace). “This wine delivers notes of fresh and baked apples followed by a soft, rounded mouthfeel,” says Bruno Bonnet, wine director for MGM Grand Las Vegas. “When paired with the braised fish, its citric acidity mingles with the ginger spice in the sauce. A crisp, clean, mouthwatering finish completes the interaction with this gorgeous fish.”