Pompano is by far my favorite fish. It’s a white fish that is fleshy with a naturally buttery taste . It pairs well with any flavor profile, and is delicious steamed, baked or fried. For today, we’re making baked pompano with baby bok choy.
Baby bok choy is a smaller version of the Chinese cabbage. Unlike the cabbage we usually use, bok choy has a much leafier texture, similar to spinach rather than lettuce. I enjoy cooking Asian flavors, and bok choy obviously goes well with that. This recipe has a sauce for the veggies rather than my usual spice mix. I make the sauce with garlic, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, and a little soy sauce and lemon juice.
Because pompano is so meaty, it takes a little longer to cook all the way through. Make sure you cover the top with foil before baking so it cooks evenly. I also stuff the pompano with lemon slices so that it doesn’t taste fishy after baking. If your grocery store doesn’t clean your fish for you, or you don’t buy it pre-cleaned, you’ll have to do it yourself. Pompano will taste bitter if you don’t clean out its guts first. I’m also a firm believer in buying all seafood fresh whenever possible.
This recipe would also be great steamed. The problem with steaming is that you obviously need a steamer and that it takes just a little bit longer to cook. I actually prefer steamed pompano, but baking also gives the fish a nice roasted flavor. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
What’s your favorite fish and how do you prepare it?
Baked Pompano with Baby Bok Choy
- 2 whole pompano cleaned
- 2 small bunches baby bok choy bottoms cut off
- 1/2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
- 1/2 cup oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 medium lemon half juiced, half sliced
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Season the pompano with salt and pepper inside and on both sides. Stuff the inside with lemon slices. Set aside in a oil-sprayed baking dish.
Saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat until lightly brown and fragrant.
Lower the heat slightly and add the Chinese cooking wine, oyster sauce, soy sauce and lemon juice. Mix and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the baby bok choy. Coat it with the sauce. Let it simmer until the leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes, and then take it off the heat.
Top the pompanos with the baby bok choy. Pour the rest of the sauce on top of the fish and bok choy. Cover it with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the fish comes out flaky and soft.
Serve with rice!