Apple Fish / Healthy Oil Free Steamed Fish Recipe

Pomfret also known as Butter fish or White Pomfret is healthy , has more meat and few bones and deliciously tender when steamed. Few days back, I tried this steamed Pomfret dish with fresh coconut and green chutney. My Mum suggested me to add Apple to it for variation and it turned out really well.

This healthy oil free recipe is very easy to make, and since this fish does not have very thick flesh, it cooks in a jiffy and the results are simply delicious ! The sourness of green Apple gives the fish a nice tangy flavour. I have wrapped the fish in a banana leaf before cooking. You can use Turmeric leaves or Aluminium foil if Banana leaves are not available

photo of apple fish / healthy oil free steamed fish recipe
Ingredients: Serves 2 (since these fish are fairly small, I portion out 1 fish per person)
2 Butter fish / Pomfret/ White Pomfret
1 Green Apple
1 bowl fresh Mint leaves
1 bowl fresh coriander leaves
3-4 cloves of Garlic
1 inch piece of Ginger
2 green chilies
2 banana leaves for steaming it
1/2 tsp. Sea salt for marinade and 2-3 tsp for rubbing the fish.
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Clean the fish thoroughly - Lay it flat on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice off about 1/4 inch strip from the underside of the fish - the section between the head and lower fin. Now slide your knife into this cut to open up the inner pocket of the fish. Using your index finger, reach in and pull out the guts from this pocket and discard. Then rinse the fish well with water, set aside, and do the same for the other fish. If you wish, you can ask your fish monger to dress it by clipping the fins and tail.
Take some salt and rub the fish generously with it and leave for 8-10 minutes and then wash thoroughly with fresh water.This is to remove any sliminess and the fishy stench from the fish. It also makes the fish soft and wonderfully receptive to the marinade.
While the fish is resting in its salty rub, we can make the marinade. Grate the green Apple using a grater. Make a green chutney or paste by adding fresh mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic chili , sea salt and lemon juice in a grinder.
Mix the grated apple and green paste and stuff nicely in the cuts of the fish from all the sides. Marinate the fish at least for 1/2 hour
Cut the banana leaf into 2 "sheets" large enough to wrap the fish individually. Grease the leaf with a drop of oil and place the fish in the center of the leaf and wrap. Seal the fish in this banana envelopes using toothpicks. If you do not have banana leaf, can use leaf of turmeric plant or Aluminium sheet.
To steam the fish: Place the wrapped fish directly in a bamboo steamer(or other type of steamer), seam-side up for 7-8 minutes.
Serve hot with steamed rice and salad.
People with busy life style can stock up with pomfret fishes for 1-2 weeks on weekends , pack individual fish in zip-lock bag , add the marinade ingredients and lock the bag. Squish the bag from outside to coat the fish evenly . Repeat the same with all the fishes, and then keep these zip lock bags in the freezer. this creates lesser mess. Just thaw the fish or fishes as per the need and steam in microwave for 5 minutes and enjoy this yummy steamed fish recipe . This method also hold good for Dinner parties.
You can also bake the fish in a 400 degree preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or till done.
In case you want to fry the fish, you can dip the fish in a thin layer of cornstarch or rice flour batter or simply coat with semolina before frying , this will ensure a crispy crust and fish will not splutter in the oil.