In Yunnan, after spending time fishing with the Dai minority ladies, I was inspired to cook steamed sea bream served with a salsa verde made using local Vietnamese mint and wild coriander.
1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
8 small fresh chillies, finely sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
large handful of Vietnamese mint (or a few leaves of fresh basil), finely chopped
5–6 tbsp groundnut oil
¼ tsp sea salt
2–3 tbsp light soy sauce
Season the fish with the toasted Chinese spices, then season with salt on both sides. Place the fish on a heatproof plate in a bamboo steamer. Half-fill the wok with boiling water, place the steamer over the wok (making sure the base doesn't touch the water), cover and steam on high heat for 10–15 minutes until the flesh of the fish turns opaque and flakes when poked.
While the fish is cooking, combine all the salsa verde ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
To serve, pour the sauce over the fish and accompany with rice and vegetables.
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Ken Hom and Ching-He Huang begin their culinary journey across China in Beijing.