Jun 10, 2020

Steamed Bass Fillets with Cordia Dichotoma 破布子蒸鱸魚片

What a mouthful name, cordia dichotoma. Also known as "pua po ji" in Taiwan, the part that's actually being used in cooking is its fruit. After harvesting, some use these little round pieces right away, and some would boil for hours then pickle the fruits for longer preservation time.

One of the common ways to incorporate cordia dichotoma is steamed fish. Pickled cordia dichotoma can give a mild sweet and sourish touch to the final dish. Just need to be careful when biting the cordia dichotoma because it contains seed inside. For the recipe I'm making here, I took extra effort to remove the seed one by one, also thickened the sauce towards the end. However, most people don't really bother to remove the seed, just eat around it or ignoring the cordia dichotoma all along. There's no absolute need to thicken the sauce also, I was trying to make this common household recipe a wee bit fancier.

Steamed bass fillets with cordia dichotoma 破布子蒸鱸魚片 -

  • 320 grams bass fillets
  • 3 tablespoons cordia dichotoma
  • 1 tablespoon cordia dichotoma marinated juice
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 short section ginger
  • 2 red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Tiny pinch white pepper powder
  • Some corn starch and water mixture
  • Some Chinese rice wine 米酒
  • Some sesame oil
  • Some salt


Destem and slice the bottom section, the whiter section of the scallion into about 2-inch long strips. Thinly slice the green area into thin strips and soak them in cold water. The scallion strips will start to curl up, drain and pat dry for later use.

Destem and remove the red chili seeds, slice the chilies into thin strips. Peel and slice the ginger into thin strips also.

Squeeze the cordia dichotoma with your fingers, give it some pressure to create some cracks. It'll help drawing out more flavors during the steaming process. Might as well remove the seeds at the same time.

Slice the fish fillets into large chunks, it'll be easier to fit into a plate that will go into the steamer. Sprinkle few drops of rice cooking wine and add some salt on both sides of the fish.

Brush some sesame oil to the plate/shallow bowl that will be used for steaming and serving. Lay down the white part of the scallion sections. It'll kind of form a barrier between the bass and the very bottom of the plate. Transfer bass pieces on top of the scallion sections.

Prepare a bowl, add in squeezed cordia dichotoma and some juice, also add in 1 tablespoon rice wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and tiny pinch of white pepper powder. Mix well.

Drizzle the sauce mixture over bass. Lastly, top with green part of the scallion strips, red chili strips, and ginger strips.

Into the steamer, make sure the temperature goes up before adding the fish. Steam for about 8 minutes then turn off the power/heat. Continue to rest in steamy heat for another 5 minutes.

Remove the plate from steamer. You can serve this dish as it is now, or continue with extra steps below.

Pour out the watery juice to a small pot. Turn to high heat and let the sauce reduce a wee bit. Switch to low heat. Taste and see if need more soy sauce, otherwise, slightly thicken the sauce with corn starch and water mixture. Keep stirring the sauce while slowly pour in the corn starch and water mixture at the same time to prevent lumps.

Pour the thickened sauce back to the bass fillets. Serve immediately.

Some prefer to keep the cordia dichotoma seeds, saying that it'll give more flavor to the dish. I'm guess that removing the seeds one by one can be way too time consuming too. However, I'd like to actually eat the cordia dichotoma, so might as well take out the seeds in the beginning. Don't want to hurt my teeth if I'm not careful enough.

Other fish recipes:

No comments:

Post a Comment