Perhaps, I haven’t mentioned it yet but my mother couldn’t cook if her life depended on it. Okay, that may be exaggerated. The truth is, she did not like to cook. And she didn’t unless she had to. I used to say there were only only three dishes that she could cook — menudo, adobo (my version includes button mushrooms) and chicken curry — all of which were always too soupy to be called stews. Then, I remembered… there was one dish that she did cook well — steamed fish with potato wedges and mayo sauce. And I understand perfectly now why she could cook it so well — it’s a very simple recipe that does not involve too many ingredients nor too many steps.
This is my version, an improvement I’d like to think, which entails a little extra work but still easy even for the inexperienced home cook.
- 800 grams to 1 kilogram whole fish I used plapla, cleaned, scored and salted
- thumb-sized piece of ginger shredded
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- a bunch of scallions tied
- 3 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 to 3 potatoes peeled and cut into sticks (about 2-1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch deep and wide)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
Stuff the ginger, garlic and tied onion leaves into the cavity of the fish. Place the fish on a shallow heatproof bowl. Steam for 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Make the sauce. Strain the liquid in the bowl in which the fish was steamed. Add the mayo and whisk until combined.
Heat the butter in a non-stick pan. Lightly fry the potatoes just until the edges start to brown. Pour in the sauce and stir. Add the sliced green onion leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or just until the potatoes are done.
Pour the sauce and potatoes over the fish. Serve at once.