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Fish and Seafood
1 and 1/2 pounds firm white fish such as cod or turbot, whole with scales and gills removed, or as fillets, pat dry with paper towels
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Shao Xing rice wine
2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
3 Tablespoons finely chopped scallions
peanut or vegetable oil to lubricate the pan
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons uncooked long-grain uncooked rice
3 Tablespoons black tea leaves
3 whole star anise, broken into sections
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 Tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
2 pieces Chinese cinnamon bark broken into pieces
1. In a small bowl, mix ginger, rice wine, soy sauce, and scallions and mix until almost a paste or put them in a blender or food processor to make the paste. Rub this on all sides of the fish, and set aside for half an hour.
2. In a steamer, wok, or a saucepan, fill with two-inches of water, and put a heat-proof plate on a grate over it. Then bring the water to the boil. Put the fish on lightly oiled heat-proof plate on the grate and carefully lower it onto the grate over the water after it boils. Cover tightly and steam for five minutes. Then remove the plate with the fish, and allow to cool slightly.
3. Line the inside of a wok or fry pan with foil. Mix the sugar, rice, tea, star anise, five-spice powder, Sichuan peppercorns, and the cinnamon, and spread this on the foil. Rub a rack with a little oil and place it over the ingredients, and put the fish on the rack. Heat the wok or pan on high and when the mixture in the bottom starts to smoke, turn the heat down to moderate, cover, and leave fish there for five minutes. Then remove the fish and discard all the smoking ingredients and foil, and serve the fish.