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Monday, February 18, 2013

Steamed Seven Stars Grouper - 'Cheng Ching Chat Sing Pan'

A week before Chinese New Year I went to a night market to hunt for some cheap and fresh seafood even though I did not plan to cook for the reunion dinner. So, people said during Chinese New Year, we must eat fish because it signifies 'Nian Nian You Yu' - Abundance Year By Year. I happily bought 2 pieces of Seven Stars Grouper which costs me RM40++!

I happily told my mom I bought them but I was grounded by her. She said people will buy a whole fish, with its head and tail intact. Definitely not like this, 'kena' chopped. She kept mumbling and warned me not to serve it during CNY celebration else I will expect to see black faces. So, I listened to her.

The seller insisted me to use the steaming method to cook this fish, so I followed. The key condiment is this. **Fried minced garlic added with soy sauce and oyster sauce as the final topping**

I asked the fish uncle how long should I steam the fish. He said 10 mins is perfect. I don't trust him so I poked the fish to ensure it is fully cooked. Okay..I should have trusted the uncle.heheehhehe.

I happily presented to my girls and we had a splendid dinner. Tonight, I will have this again. Don't you remember, I bought 2 pieces earlier!

33 comments:

  1. It looks delicious! :)

    I love fish cooked like this - simple and steamed to highlight the original taste of the fish.

    What is a "Seven Star" grouper?

    I've never heard of that pantang during CNY - the ones that says you have to serve a fish with tail and head intact.

    ...but come to think of it, all the fishes I've eaten during CNY *did* have the entire fish (with head and tail) except for one birthday reception.

    Interesting - does it have anything to do with the saying "you tou wei" (a similar sounding term which means you've gotta do something properly - with a start (head) and end (wei))?

    Have a great dinner tonight Yee Ling! I would love to eat this. :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Huai Bin, indeed it was good that we managed to finish up everything**minus the bones**

      Hmmm..Seven Stars is another species name for a grouper. That's because you will see seven stars on the fish skin. All I can see there are lots of blue dots which explained why it is called Seven stars grouper. I think it is also called the Coral Trout. Aijor...pening. All I know is to eat.

      Hahaha..now you know why my mom warned me not to serve it during CNY. Yes, I couldn't agree more with the saying. Must have a starting and ending point.

      Ok..next time I go and catch it fresh from the river and belanja you makan.ahahhahahahahha.

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    2. Interesting! Seven Stars, I wonder what it's referred to over here. I know the Cantonese translation.

      I love fish, I can probably eat several of those in a single sitting.

      I asked my dad about the pantang and yeah, apparently it is quite common! Serve an entire fish during CNY.

      I just never really notice it.

      Haha! Okay, I'm up for that. I catch, you cook. :D

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    3. Sigh...I thought u r totally a banana. Can't understand Chinese. Make me a dumbo again.

      Apparently, I think the it looks more appealing to serve a whole fish rather than without its head and tail during the auspicious celebration, right?

      HAhahhahahah...funny la u.

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    4. No la I can speak Mandarin one!

      I'm just not good in Cantonese but I can understand it. I was just wondering what it's called over here.

      Actually, I think a large fillet like this looks nice too! I mean, if you put several in a large plate.

      I go catch! :D

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Kucing, I know you sure like it.

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  3. It looks perfectly good and yummy to me. Well done to you, Yee Ling.

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    1. Thanks Yan. I think it will be a perfect one if it comes with the head and tail.ahahhahah

      Happy CNY to you and family again, Yan!

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  4. Replies
    1. Certainly is..retaining the fresh and real flavor

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  5. I love steamed fish, simple but can taste the real flavor :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes..truly agrees with u. I feel heartache to fry an expensive fish.hehehehhe

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  6. I also dont know must buy head and tail intact.. hahaha.. chinese has a lot of sayings one..
    Anyway, the fish looks very nice, Ling! Nowadays the fish are very expensive!

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    1. Yea lor..me from a typical Chinese family have to listen to all those sayings.If I think I can follow it, why not, right.

      Claire..yes, nowadays fish are so expensive. I ll go pasar malam to hunt for the cheapest.ehheheh

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  7. I didn't know about serving the whole fish, too. I thought any fish would do.

    Your steamed fish looks very appealing and presenting!

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    Replies
    1. Serving a whole fish looks appealing than no head & tail intact, I reckoned. Again, if your family no pantang with this, I think is fine.

      Thanks Yvonne!

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  8. Hehehe.. I also din know gotta buy buy whole fish with head and tail. Bought 2 blocks of salmon before CNY and cooked them during CNY. Sei, sure kena chop the whole year of water snake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhahaahh...maybe is an 'ONG' sign. Who knows, right?

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  9. yummy... but my girl don't really fancy steam fish but prefer 'fry'... aiyo.. so, I like steam, she want fry... but if I buy this chat sing pan, I will not FRY for her.. damn expensive.. :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes..too good and expensive to fry.

      My girls also don't like fish but certain fish they are okay with.

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  10. Ooh nice! Steamed fish is my fav. Expensive fish is best steamed so that its flavour is retained.

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    Replies
    1. I will only go for certain types of steamed fish like cod fish, grouper and white pomfret. Yes, expensive fish is best steamed!

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  11. Mmm..yummy. Looks so good. Me too never thought of the head and tail. My mum usually steam the whole fish.

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    Replies
    1. I hardly buy a whole fish because I don't like the cleaning part. I usually stick to blocks because less bones and of course easier to clean.heehheh

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  12. Thanks for advising, so... I must always remember to serve a 'whole' fish during CNY. Happy & Prosperous CNY to you & family! Btw your first attempt
    of steaming fish is excellent, it looks and taste great too! Good job :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hheheheh..that signifies Nian Nian Yu You.

      Happy CNY to you and family too.

      Thanks. I am pretty sure you can do a better job than me.

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  13. No wonder my mum always steam the whole fish. Never thought of the logic behind all this years. The fish looks good and fresh. Your family must be having a very good time. Happy CNY to you Yee Ling!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Andrew. How have you been? Hope you and family are doing great. Happy CNY to you too.

      Hahhahah....whole fish looks more appealing and signifies the auspicious saying 'Nian Nian Yu You'. I guess ur mom does acknowledge the logic behind this saying.

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  14. luscious! :) this type of fish is sold at a very steep price during CNY. Glad that you enjoyed it with your family. Happy Chinese New Year and sorry for being late to drop by :)

    Latest: Dine in the Garden

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  15. Love steamed fish! This looks delicious :)

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  16. Such preparations are the yummiest!

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  17. Steam fish are always my favorite! I can't miss when my mom cook fish! smooth meat.. and fresh to eat :D

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