The process of pouring hot oil and soy sauce over gently steamed fish is very Hawaiian. Originally a Chinese preparation, it has become routine in many households. This technique gives fresh, delicate fish a distinctive flavor. Onaga is red snapper; substitute any firm, light-fleshed fish.
- Okinawan or regular sweet potatoes - 1 pound, unpeeled
- Baby Won Bok (napa cabbage) - 4 ounces
- Ti leaves - 3, or 1 banana leaf (alt. won bok)
- Onaga or Red Snapper fillets - four, 7-ounce
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 2 ounces, stemmed and thinly sliced
- Green Onions - 2 whole, cut into diagonal slivers
- Fresh Ginger - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves - 20
- Peanut Oil - 1 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1 cup
- Soy Sauce - 2 teaspoons, for garnish
In the top of a steamer, cook the unpeeled sweet potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Peel and slice in half on the diagonal. Steam the won bok for 5 minutes, or until just tender.
Cut ti leaves to fit in a steamer and line the steamer with the leaves. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place, skin-side up, in the steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam 8 to 10 minutes, or until opaque throughout. Place the steamed fish on top of a metal rack over a shallow pan. Top the fish with the mushrooms, green onion, ginger, and cilantro. In a small saucepan, combine the oil and soy sauce and heat over high heat to almost smoking. Very carefully pour the mixture over the fish.
To serve: Arrange some steamed won bok on the bottom of each plate. Place 1 fillet on top of each and drizzle some of the pan drippings over the top of the fish. Stand 2 pieces of sweet potato at one end of each fish. Sprinkle a little bit of soy sauce over each piece of fish.