Signifying abundance and surplus, fish is a must have for reunion dinner. We've prepared the tongue numbing mala favorite, Chong Qing Grilled Fish, as this fiery red dish not only looks auspicious, but also tastes delicious.
This lip-reddening, hotpot-styled dish on your BRUNO Hotplate’s Nabe Pot unveils succulent fish and a cornucopia of yummy goodies, from crunchy veggies to beancurd. This dish is sure to impress and delight spice lovers as the dramatic centerpiece of your New Year’s spread.
Delving into the deets
We used black grouper, but common picks for grilled fish include barramundi, marble goby, and grass carp, however, any whole fish will work. The important thing is that the fish is fresh, butterflied, and toweled dry before seasoning.
We used a small fish (~ 30 cm) that was appropriate for 4 persons that fit the compact hotplate. You can replicate this dish with a bigger fish (~ 40 cm), but you have to use the Grande Hotplate along with the Deep Pot to accommodate it.
Butterflying the fish
Use a butterflied fish for this dish. Flattening the fish like this cooks it more evenly and makes it easier to eat. You can have your fishmonger butcher it, or do it yourself:
- Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off the fish's fins to make it easier to handle (optional).
- Use the scissors to bisect the lower jaw, and clip the fish’s ribs on one side.
- Fillet that same side of the fish by running a knife laterally along the spine of the side with the cut ribs. Make sure not to pierce the skin at the top along the fin, this will keep the fish intact.
- This should allow you to open up the fish and flatten it, thus butterflying it.
Since this dish continuously simmers at the table, it’s essentially a steamboat, many delicious auxiliary ingredients can be added to bulk it up including:
- Fried peanuts
- Sweet potato vermicelli
- Shitake mushroom
- Chinese cabbage
- Potato slices
- Boiled quail eggs
- Sliced luncheon meat
Deep fried beancurd skin
- Homemade dumplings
Prepare the fish
- Rinse, dry, and butterfly (see above, DIY Fishmongering) your fish to prepare it for marination.
- Marinate both sides of the fish with the sesame oil and shaoxing wine then season it all over with the salt, pepper, cinnamon, and chilli flakes.
- Set the fish aside to let the flavours to settle in (~ 15 mins).
Fry the fish
- Set up your BRUNO Compact Hotplate with the flat plate and set the heat to HIGH. Oil the flat plate generously, and allow it to heat up.
- Once the oil begins to exude wisps of smoke, place the fish on the flat plate skin-side down. Press the fish down with your spatula to ensure good contact with the cook top.
- Sear the fish till the skin is crispy (~ 8 mins). Flip the fish over, turn off the heat, then leave it on the hotplate to continue cooking with the residual heat(~ 5 mins).
Prepare the stock
- When the hotplate has cooled down, remove the flatplate with the fish with tongs and set it aside. Place the Nabe pot in your hotplate and set the heat to MED.
- Add a little oil to the pot, and toast the star anise and Sichuan peppercorns, stirring it with a spatula (1 min) to infuse the oil with their flavour.
- Add the garlic cloves, ginger slices, red chilli, spring onion stalks, and onion. Stir fry these aromatics (2 min).
- Add the mala soup base and stir fry it too (2 mins).
- Pour 1 L of water into the pot and add the lotus root, bring the soup to a boil, and simmer it open for (~15 min) to cook the veggies.
Assemble the grilled fish
- Lay the sliced tofu sheets down the length of the the nabe pot and spread the black fungus along the sides.
- Add the fish on top of these and flank it with the green chilli slices and bean sprouts.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds, coriander leaves, and sliced spring onion greens over the top, then cover the pot for (2 mins) to wilt the veggies.
Serve with white rice. Happy Lunar New Year! 年年有鱼~