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Steamed Flounder with Black Mushrooms and Ham

1/2 c Soy sauce
3 tb Dry sherry
3 tb Minced ginger, plus 8 sl (thin) ginger
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
8 Dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 1 hour
2 lb Whole flounder (with bones)
2 ts Salt
1 tb Rice wine
2 ts Chinese toasted sesame oil
8 Thin slices Yunan or Smithfield ham

1/3 c Chicken stock
3 tb Rice wine
1 tb Soy sauce
1 ts Salt
1 ts Chinese toasted sesame oil
1 ts Sugar
1 ts Cornstarch

In a pan fitted with 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 minute.

Meanwhile, drain mushrooms, squeeze dry and remove stems. With a Chinese cleaver or large knife score fish at one-inch intervals on both sides, making 8 slashes in all, 4 on each side. In a small bow l combine salt, rice wine and sesame oil, stirring to combine flavors. Rub all over fish, working some into slashes as well. Insert one slice each of ginger and ham and one mushroom into each incisio n. Place fish on a heat-proof plate small enough to fit in steamer, leaving some steaming holes uncovered. Cover and steam for 8 to 10 minutes.

Prepare sauce: In a saucepan combine sauce ingredients, except cornstarch, and bring to a simmer. Whisk cornstarch with 1 teaspoon water to a slurry. Whisk into sauce mixture, stirring until thickene d.

Transfer steamed fish to a warmed serving platter and pour sauce over. Serve immediately.

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