Here, a mixture of aromatic scallions and fresh ginger is stuffed into the cavity of a whole fish as it steams, and the rest is spread on top, for unbeatable flavor all around (red onion is also used to line the steamer basket). Red snapper or trout is a good alternative to black bass. Serve with cooked rice or rice noodles.
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 whole black bass (each 1½ to 2 pounds and 1½ inches thick), scaled and gutted, gills removed
1 piece (2 inches) peeled fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
5 scallions, halved lengthwise, and cut into 2- to 4-inch pieces; plus more, chopped, for sauce
1 large red onion, sliced ½ inch thick
1. Whisk together soy sauce and sesame oil in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cut a few slits into the fish on both sides using a sharp paring knife. Transfer evenly to the dish; turn to coat the fish.
2. Toss ginger with scallions; stuff some into each fish cavity. Spread the remaining mixture on top of the fish. Let stand, covered, spooning marinade over fish often, for 30 minutes.
3. Bring about 2 cups of water to a boil in a large skillet or wok. Arrange red onion on the bottom layer of a 12-inch bamboo steamer. Remove fish from marinade with ginger-scallion mixture still on top, and arrange side by side on onion; reserve marinade. Set steamer in skillet. Steam, covered, until fish is cooked through and vegetables are tender about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring the marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook until reduced by half. Strain through a fine sieve; add chopped scallions. Serve fish and vegetables with sauce.
If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, you can arrange the fish side by side in a steamer basket set in a pot filled with one inch of water.