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Patricia Yeo
rising stars
November 2002 NEW YORK
Halibut Steamed in Soy-Ginger Broth with Mushrooms and Chinese Sausage
Patricia Yeo, AZ-New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs

Steamed fish is true Chinese home cooking. It's firm, hearty, delicate, the better to contrast with lively aromatics such as ginger, soy and scallions. In this dish I invented a way to use aromatics for texture as well as flavor - matchsticks of ginger, bits of Chinese dried sausage, and even ripe, sweet plum tomatoes. I like to rest my fish fillets on a pillow of soft tofu that combines with the soy broth to bathe everything in a lovely sauce. Serve this on top of fluffy rice to absorb the liquids.

Sommelier Warner Strejan's Suggested Wine Pairing:
Ahlgren, Semillion, Livermore Valley, CA

4 servings


  • cup soy sauce
  • cup of fish sauce
  • cup plum wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced


  • 2 (about 4-inch square) blocks soft tofu, cut into
  • 2-inch wide strips
  • 4 (6-ounce) fillets of halibut or another white, firm fish such as cod
  • 2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 Chinese sausages cut into matchsticks
  • 2 knobs Szechuan mustard cut into matchsticks (available in Asian markets)
  • 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced into rings
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

For the broth: Combine all the ingredients for the broth and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside. The broth can be made in advance and kept refrigerated up to one week.

For the fish: Set up a large bamboo steamer or improvise one using a large pot with a tight-fitting lid: Pour one inch of water into the bottom of the pot. Place one or more small heatproof dishes (such as ramekins) in the bottom to prop up the baking dish. Arrange the tofu in a single layer in a baking dish small enough to fit in the steamer. Arrange the fish fillets on top of the tofu. Evenly sprinkle the tomatoes, sausages, mustard, mushrooms, scallions and ginger over the top.

When ready to cook, bring the water in the steamer to a boil. Drizzle cup of broth over the top of the fish and place the dish in the steamer. Cook about 15 to 20 minutes, until the fish in the middle of the dish flakes slightly under pressure (you'll have to move the aromatics aside to press the fish.) Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro sprigs. Pass the remaining broth at the table.