This fluffy steamed mixture of turnip and fish is a classic winter dish in Japan, found everywhere from home-cooking to upmarket restaurants.
- 80 g skinless snapper fillet
- sea salt, for sprinkling
- 4 small king prawns, peeled and cleaned
- 2 tsp cooking sake
- 1 egg white
- 200 g turnip, peeled and finely grated, excess water squeezed out
- 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stalks discarded, caps thinly sliced
- 1 small piece carrot, cut into julienne
- 20 podded frozen edamame beans
- 2 small pinches finely grated ginger and finely chopped spring onion, to serve
Sticky dashi broth
- 150 ml water
- 1 tsp instant dashi powder
- 3 tsp mirin
- 3 tsp light or dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp potato starch mixed with 1 tbsp water
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.
1. Slice the snapper fillet in half and sprinkle with a little salt. Stand for 10 minutes, then pat dry with paper towel.
2. Place the prawns in a small bowl, add the sake and toss to coat well.
3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then gently fold in the turnip and a pinch of salt.
4. Bring a steamer to the boil over medium heat. Place a piece of snapper in the base of two small heatproof bowls.
5. Divide the prawns and mushrooms evenly around the fish in the bowls. Spoon enough of the turnip mixture over the top to cover the fish, then sprinkle with half the carrot and edamame beans. Spread the remaining turnip mixture over the top and sprinkle with the remaining carrot and edamame. Place in the steamer and cook for 11 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, for the sticky dashi broth, place water in a small saucepan over low heat. Once it has reached boiling point, add the hondashi and stir well. Add the mirin and soy sauce and bring to the boil. Slowly whisk in the potato starch mixture and stir until lightly thickened, smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7. Remove the bowls from the steamer and pour the sticky dashi broth over the top. Sprinkle with the finely grated ginger and chopped spring onion and serve immediately.
Diana Chan is exploring the many dishes of Asia within Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.