Oven-Steamed Fish with Black Mushrooms



  • 6 good-sized dried black mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or good dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (omit if your sherry is on the sweet side)
  • 4 fillet portions lean to moderately rich fish, 5 to 7 ounces each
  • 1-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled, sliced, and cut into shreds
  • 2 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths and shredded lengthwise

Time Estimates

Prep time: 25 min  

Cook time: 15 min  

Total time: 40 min  



  1. Soak the mushrooms in warm water to cover for at least 20 minutes. Drain and cut off the stems; cut the caps in 1/8-inch slices. Combine in a small saucepan with the stock, wine, soy sauce, and sugar and simmer until the mushrooms are tender. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and boil the liquid down by two thirds. Let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450˚F. For each serving, fold a 12- by 16-inch sheet of baking parchment in half the short way. Crease the edges of the fold but not the entire fold. Open the parchment and lay a portion of fish on one side of the fold, spoon or brush a quarter of the sauce over the fish, and top with a quarter of the ginger and green onion shreds, and a quarter of the mushrooms. Fold the other side of the paper over all. Starting at the edge of the fold nearest you, fold the corner in toward the center of the packet and crease; then fold the newly created corner toward the center and crease. Continue with a series of folds, forming a half oval and creasing each fold well to seal. Finish with a twist at the opposite corner.
  3. Bake the packages on a baking sheet until puffy and browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to individual plates to be opened at the table (either slit the paper open along the edge and slide the contents out onto the plate or open the top and eat the fish from the paper). Serve with rice and a simple vegetable.


Makes 4 servings


Good to know

Baking in small packages of parchment, what the French call en papillote, is sometimes translated as "oven steaming," and it does combine some of the best qualities of steaming with the ease of baking. Enclosed in a nearly airtight package, the fish and seasonings cook quickly, retaining all their natural moisture in a sauce contained in each package.


Which beer should I drink with this?

Amber ale, porter, or dry stout



1. Here, fish fillets cook with the classic Chinese seasonings for fish (ginger and green onions) plus the earthy flavor of dried black (shiitake) mushrooms. Try using lean fish like rockfish, snapper, thicker soles and flounders, farmed striped bass, or tilapia; moderately rich fish like mahi-mahi, trout, or catfish; or salmon. About the only fish that don’t take well to this method are firm, meaty “steak fish” like tuna, swordfish, and shark.



The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.




Photo: ZUMA Press