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Hunan-Style Steamed Fish

1 Whole freshwater fish (such as carp), (1-1/2 to 2 lbs)
Salt (optional)
2 oz Fermented black beans (Chinese)
2 sm Fresh, hot, red chiles, finely chopped
1/2 ts Minced gingerroot
1/2 ts Minced garlic
2 Green onions; chopped
1 ts Sherry (more to taste)
1 tb Lard (or double amt. OIL)

Rinse fish and pat dry. Cut one long diagonal slit or several crosswise slits in each side. Sprinkle fish inside and out with salt to taste. Place fish on platter for steaming. Rinse black beans and drain. Chop coarsely, if desired. Combine black beans, chiles, ginger, garlic and onions. Spread bean mixture on top of fish and sprinkle with sherry. Set lard on fish or sprinkle with oil. Place fish in steamer and steam, covered, 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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