Taucu or fermented bean paste gives a wonderful savoury flavour to steamed fish. Similar to miso, fermented bean paste is salty but when sautéd with some fresh garlic and chillies, the gravy becomes mildly spiced and a great combination with steamed fresh fish.
The best way to cook fresh fishes is by steaming them. Steamed fish are healthy, easy to prepare and extremely delicious. It is even more so when paired with a simple fermented bean paste gravy filled with umami.
Where to buy fermented bean paste?
Fermented bean paste is the Chinese version of miso. It is sold as a paste or as whole beans packed in a bottle.
Can fermented bean paste be substituted?
To create this dish, fermented bean paste or taucu from Taiwan, Singapore or Malaysia are the best choices. Thailand's fermented bean paste is another close option.
If you are unable to find any of the suggested options, tweak this recipe by using miso, Korean doenjang or even black bean sauce. The taste profile will be different from the actual dish but the suggested sauces will work fine with the recipe.
What type of fish to use?
In the video, I used Seabass but if you prefer other types of fishes, I would recommend that you choose white fish like cod, grouper, red snapper, trout or bream. Fishes like salmon can be used but it does have a strong taste which might change the overall taste of the gravy.
Steaming fish fillet instead
Instead of steaming a whole fish, you may steam fish fillets instead. I use thick cod fillets which work well with all steamed fish recipes such as Cantonese steamed fish or Teochew steamed fish.
To have more gravy
If you want the dish with more gravy, feel free to add some water and some corn flour/water mixture to thicken it. In any case, I bet you will love this quick and simple dish.
I especially enjoy it as the aromatics in this dish definitely tantalize the taste buds and perk the appetite. To get to reach the full aroma of the dish, do stir-fry the ingredients over low to medium heat until fragrant.