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About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 2016)
Lunar New Year
Page 18 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
Year of the Monkey
Continued from page 16
n Fire Monkey: Your relationships will go much more
smoothly if you stop coming on so strong, Fire Monkey.
Try to relax and be yourself; others will find you far more
appealing if you are genuine and not so overbearing.
n Earth Monkey: There will be some tricky hurdles in
your professional life this year. Maintain focus, trust your
instincts, and you will be able to navigate your way
through. The experience you gain will lead you to exciting
The year looks to be a mixed bag for Rooster. Making
ill-informed decisions will lead to woe, therefore proceed
with caution when big decisions are to be made, and
consult with trusted advisors. Though it may seem like a
waste of precious time, it will make for a prosperous year.
n Metal Rooster: Be sure
to manage your finances
carefully this year, Metal
Rooster, and be cautious
about new opportunities.
Steering clear of both borrow-
ing and lending money will
also help maintain your
n Water Rooster: Acting impulsively in relationships
is a surefire road to disaster this Monkey Year. Let
wisdom guide you and allow relationships to progress at
their own pace for lasting love or friendship.
n Wood Rooster: Fly off your comfortable perch, Wood
Rooster, and show some initiative. Those around you will
take notice and your efforts will be rewarded. Lazy birds
who maintain the status quo will be overlooked when
n Fire Rooster: Do your research before backing a
cause, Fire Rooster. Your great energy and motivation
need to be carefully aimed at a worthy goal, lest your
efforts go to waste.
n Earth Rooster: Things are looking positive for you
during the Year of the Monkey. While exploring your
opportunities, remember to take time to check in with
loved ones. Someone close to you may be suffering silently
and could use your support.
After a rocky start to the year, Dogs should have smooth
sailing in 2016. Fortune will smile extra brightly on those
canines who stay true to their principles and focus on their
n Metal Dog: What’s that you smell, Metal Dog?
Romance is in the air! Single dogs who roam outside their
comfort zone may find new love, while partnered dogs who
Continued on page 20
February 1, 2016
Steamed whole fish? No.
Baking it in foil is easier, tastier
By Sara Moulton
The Associated Press
he Chinese like to feature
whole steamed fish on the
menu of New Year’s feasts.
abundance, and long life, it’s a dish
with symbolism that is as important
as taste. Indeed, you’re supposed to
leave the bones, head, and tail intact,
a way to help ensure the new year will
be a winner from beginning to end.
When buying fish, many of us tend
to opt for the ease of fillets. The
prospect of buying, prepping, and
deboning a whole fish might seem not
just novel, but daunting. Ditto for the
prospect of steaming a whole fish, a
So here I propose baking your
whole fish rather than steaming it,
and wrapping it in foil to keep it
moist. It’s much easier to cook it this
way. It also has the added benefit of
creating an instant sauce.
But let’s start at the beginning.
You’re at the store checking out the
fish on display. How can you tell if a
whole fish is fresh? Its eyes should be
clear, not cloudy, and its gills should
be brightly colored, red or pink.
Once you’ve picked your winner,
ask the fishmonger to clean it for you.
He’ll clip off the gills, scrape off the
scales and remove the guts. If you
don’t plan to head home right away,
ask for a bag of ice to place next to the
fish, which will keep it cold until you
return to the nest.
You begin prepping your fish by
scoring it, slicing deeply into the
flesh. This will allow the marinade to
penetrate to the core and for the fish
NO-FUSS FISH. Whole steamed fish on a menu for Lunar New Year’s feasts are said to signify
togetherness, abundance, and long life. The dish has symbolism that is as important as taste. (AP
to cook evenly. I’ve called for savory liquid on the bottom of the
traditional Chinese flavorings here, pan.
Carving the fish isn’t a big deal.
but you’re welcome to adjust them to
your tastes. If, for example, you’re not Begin by gently scraping off the skin
a fan of chilies, leave them out. If you from the top of the fish with a knife.
hate cilantro, swap in another fresh Then, using a spoon and starting at
herb. The soy sauce is key because it the backbone edge, lift the flesh off in
contributes salt as well as flavor, chunks and transfer it to plates. After
which helps to season the bland-ish you have removed the top fillet, you
fish. Then after just 20 minutes in the can lift off the bone easily in one piece
marinade, the fish is ready for the to expose the bottom fillet. Once
cooked, the fillets will come off the
How will you know when it is done? bone without a struggle.
After you have filleted the fish,
Pull the pan out of the oven, open up
ladle some of the cooking liquid over
the foil carefully (it will be steamy
each portion and dig in. It’s a treat
inside) and poke the fish with a small,
any day of the year.
sharp knife. If the knife slides in
Editor’s note: Sara Moulton was executive
easily all the way to the bone, the fish
chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years
is done. If there’s some resistance,
and spent a decade hosting several Food
cook it a little longer. When the fish
Network shows. She currently stars in public
has indeed finished cooking, you’ll be
television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has
rewarded not only with beautifully
written three cookbooks, including Sara
Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.
fragrant flesh, but with a store of
Baked Whole Fish for Lunar New Year
Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)
Two 1- to 1 1/2-pound whole striped bass, branzino, or trout, gutted, scaled, and gills removed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 to 4 tablespoons serrano or jalapeno chilies, with seeds and ribs
4 scallions, white and green parts, cut into thin strips
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
Heat the oven to 400º Fahrenheit. Line a shallow baking dish large enough to hold both fish with foil.
Lay both fish on the counter. Working in one- to two-inch intervals, use a sharp knife to slash both sides of each
fish perpendicular to the backbone (a 20º angle down the rib cage). For a video demonstrating this, go to
<https://youtu.be/KnseUnTFF0g>. Transfer the fish to the prepared baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, chilies, scallions, and cilantro. Stuff
some of the mixture into each slash on both fish, as well as into the cavity (most of the seasoning should go in the
slashes). Cover the pan with foil and let the fish sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, bake the fish on the oven’s middle shelf for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked
through (when you can pierce it easily with a knife).
To serve, use a small knife to gently scrape off the skin, then use a spoon to lift off the fillets (they will come up in
chunks), and transfer one to each of four serving plates. Pour some of the juices from the pan over each portion.
Note: Unable to find 1- to 1 1/2-pound whole fish? Buy three smaller ones (about 2/3 to 3/4 pound each) and
reduce the cooking time to about 15 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving: 270 calories (110 calories from fat, 41 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (3 g
saturated, 0 g trans fats); 165 mg cholesterol; 550 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 35 g protein.
Year of the Monkey!
February 8, 2016 to
January 27, 2017