¼ cup jasmine tea leaves
3 star anise
65 g (â…“ cup) jasmine rice
55 g (¼ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
2 x 350 g snapper fillets, skin on
2 tbs Chinese rice wine (shaoxing)*
2 tsp Chinese black vinegar (chinkiang)*
2 tsp light soy sauce
185 ml (¾ cup) chicken stock
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbs peanut or vegetable oil
8cm-piece ginger, shredded
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tbs salted black beans*
Thinly sliced spring onions and long red chilli, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine tea leaves, star anise, rice and brown sugar. Line the inside of a wok with 2 sheets of heavy-duty foil (alternatively, use 4 sheets of regular foil) and place tea leaf mixture in the bottom of wok. Place a trivet or small cake rack over tea leaf mixture.
Place fish, skin-side, down on rack, then cover with a lid. Place wok over high heat and cook for 5 minutes or until wok is filled with smoke. Cover securely, remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes; fish will be almost cooked through. Transfer fish to a board, skin-side up. Using your fingers and a small, sharp knife, gently pull away skin and discard. Set fish aside. Remove and discard foil and smoking mixture. Wipe wok clean.
Combine rice wine, vinegar, soy, stock and cornflour in a small jug. Set aside. Heat wok over medium heat. Add oil, ginger, garlic, chilli flakes and rinsed black beans, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add rice wine mixture and bring to the boil, stirring, until thickened.
Reduce heat to low, add smoked fish and cook, spooning over sauce, for 3 minutes or until cooked through. Place fish on a plate and top with the spicy black bean sauce and sliced spring onions and chilli, to serve.
* From Asian food shops.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 15, pg132.
Photography by Alan Benson