Champagne Snapper
  |  First Published: March 2006

Steaming is an excellent way to prepare delicately flavoured seafood. It’s ideal for most firm fleshed seafood such as small whole fish, fillets and steaks as well as crabs, bugs, crays and marron.

There are a couple of ways that you can steam seafood. Place a bamboo steamer over a wok or pan of boiling (100) liquid or use a perforated steamer with a lid that fits onto the top of a saucepan. If you don’t have a steamer you can improvise by putting a rack inside a baking dish. Add liquid to the bottom of the baking dish and cover tightly with foil.

To steam, bring the liquid in the steamer to boil. Place the seafood in a single layer on the perforated surface of the steamer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or a lid and steam.

You need to check the seafood at regular intervals to avoid overcooking. If you are steaming seafood that has been marinaded, such as crabs with a black bean sauce, you need to place the seafood onto a plate that will fit inside the steamer that you are using. Ensure there is sufficient room around the plate for the steam to rise and circulate.

The liquid that you use to steam can add flavour to the steamed seafood. Yes, you can use plain water but try adding some lime leaves, herbs or a little wine to the steaming liquid.

To add a touch even more flavour to your steamed seafood, drizzle it with a champagne sauce.

Champagne Sauce

4 tablespoons butter

1 very finely grated golden shallot (the one that resembles a clove of garlic)

½ cup champagne

½ cup milk

½ cup cream

3 tablespoons plain flour


(1). Melt a tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan and add the grated shallot.

(2). Stir the mixture over a medium heat until the shallot has softened.

(3). Pour the champagne into the pan and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.

(4). Add the cream and milk to the pan and bring to the boil.

(5). Blend the rest of the butter with the flour to form a soft paste and then whisk into the sauce in the pan. Continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened to your liking and then drizzle over the seafood.

(6). If you are going to store the sauce in the fridge for a couple of days before using, you may need to add a little milk when you are reheating to get the sauce back to a pouring consistency.

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