Steamer Appetizer: Serves 4
1½-2 lbs whole fish, such as red snapper or sea bass
2 oz Chinese fermented black beans
2 fresh red chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced1 clove garlic, minced
3 scallions, minced
2 Tbs dry white wine
1 Tbs peanut oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
3 sprigs fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
Rinse the black beans, drain thoroughly.
Coarsely chop beans and combine with chilies, ginger, garlic and scallions. Spread the bean mixture over the fish. Sprinkle with wine; drizzle with oil and soy sauce.
Place fish in steamer; lay coriander sprigs on top of fish. Steam, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily.Transfer fish to heated serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.
Gilbertie, Sal. Kitchen Herbs: The Art and Enjoyment of Growing Herbs and Cooking with Them: New York, Bantam Books, 1988.