Tao or Yellow Throat Fish
| Wong Pei Tao is a small sea fish about
3 or 4 inches long. It is common in wet markets near
the South China Sea, where it is often sold freshly
caught and chilled.
|Fish sold should be caught fresh that morning,
so go to the wet market early (7am) to ensure
you get quality fish.
They should normally be sold from a polystyrene
box which acts as a chiller for the cold fish
inside. Often these are simply displayed on the
counter, and if so, smell them to ensure they
are not high.
The vendor will quickly descale and gut these
for you, and if not, ask them to do this for you
- there is no extra charge for this service.
Remove the scales and gut if not already done and wash
them thoroughly. Place in a bowl as pictured above and
using your hands, rub them with salt. Leave to marinade
for 1 hour in a tablespoon or two of soy sauce. This
also ensures they are completely defrosted and also
lets them breath.
These fish are cooked whole like whitebait, but there
is nothing to stop you removing the heads and fins if
Recipe 1 - Stir Fry or Sautéed Fish
To a wok add a couple of teaspoons of quality oil and
a few smashed Chinese Garlic. If using western style
garlic, then smash and dice 4 or 6 cloves into small
pieces. Cook for 1 minute on high heat, stirring a lot.
Then add an ounce of diced fresh ginger, which can be
thin sections and include the washed skin. Add the fish
and and marinade juices, stirring carefully to seal
them. Reduce the heat a little after browning both sides
and and cover with a lid.
We are still cooking at higher temperature than a simmer,
so check every minute or so. Turn the fish after 2 minutes
or less, and be ready to serve after 4 minutes.
I like to serve this in a dish with all the cooking
juices. The perfect garnish comprises of very thinly
sliced ginger strips, accompanied by what I know of
as Chinese Cress - they look like grass stalks about
1 or 2 inches long, have a natural lemon taste that
compliments the fish and sauce exquisitely. This is
also a standard fish dressing by the way.
1. When serving, add the ginger strips
and Chinese Cress to a side dish with a little soy sauce.
2. Alternatively, slice a hot green
chilli into rings of up to 1 inch diameter and again
serve in a bowl of soy sauce. There is no need to remove
the seeds, but you can if you want to? The chilli essence
actually leaks into the sauce over time, this taking
the heat out of them, whilst giving the juice a tangy
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