Steamed Leopard Coral Trout and Ramonet Montrachet
Leopard coral trout, known as “Star Grouper of the East” in Chinese, is a beautiful fish. Its coral-coloured body is scattered with white dots, like a starry sky, thus is also known as the “Star Grouper.” The “east” in its name refers to the Pratas Islands, one of the key native habitats of this colourful fish. Leopard coral trout has smooth skin and white flesh, and is often cooked by steaming. The red skin juxtaposed to snowy white flesh makes the dish visually stunning. Leopard coral trout is piscivorous and devours smaller fish and crustaceans, this active lifestyle gives rise to its delicate flesh. A true delicacy, coral trout is highly priced and often featured on banquet menu.
There are various ways to cook leopard coral trout, but steaming captures its natural flavours and delicate texture best. Steaming is a simple cooking method but requires the minutest care of the chef. Insufficient steaming time will result in undercooked flesh, while the contrary leads to hardened texture of the meat.
A well-cooked leopard coral trout is extremely succulent and the stock is flavoursome, with layered, subtle savours. The complex aromas of a Chardonnay from the Burgundy Côte d’Or make it excellent paired with this noble fish. One can also accompany it with a Blanc de Blanc Champagne made from Chardonnay. The refreshing acidity and the tantalising bubbles will nicely set off the delicate texture and juiciness of the fish. Early 2016. Austin Zhang.