Rabbitfish aka Pei Tor.
The Chinese believed that eating this fish will bring good luck and prosperity during the New Year.
During the breeding season around Chinese New Year, these rabbitfishes are much bigger and comes with roes.
The gall of the Rabbitfish is bitter if accidentally ruptured during cleaning but the meat is tasty and can be cooked in various ways such as steaming and deep frying.
Three pieces large Rabbitfish filled with Roe
To get rid of any sea smell, rub lightly with salt over the fish.
Another alternate is to use rice wine or vinegar.
Clean, rinse and pat dry with paper hand towel and set aside.
Cut two diagonal slits across each side of the fish for faster cooking.
Bring the steamer to a boil and plate a metal plate on top of the steamer with some lengthwise scallions to prevent the fish from sticking at the base of the plate.
Steam the fish until you see the fish roe almost turning to opaque.
Turn off the heat and discard the fish water.
Prepare your own garnishes (e.g. shredded Chinese leeks, diced red chillies, more scallions cut lengthwise and your own choice of gravy)
In a new metal plate, place back the semi cooked Rabbitfish together with the other garnishes.
Pour half portion of your own choice of gravy and steam the fish until fully cooked and the fish roe turned opaque.
Approximately 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the fish.
Add the other portion of the gravy over the fish one or two minutes before switching off the fire.
A closer look at the Steamed Rabbitfish.
It amazing to see such a huge piece of roe only available during breeding during the Chinese New Year season.
Look out for another method of preparing Rabbitfish by panfrying.