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Steamed Fish 清烝鱼

There are many variations of steamed fish. It can be steamed plain just with ginger and soy sauce, garnished with scallions or with a host of other vegetables like mushrooms, carrot, salted mustard leaves and so on. Fish can also be steamed with fermented soybean paste (磨豉酱) or preserved radish in which case you will get a very strong flavorful dish.

Given here is the basic plain variation, which is no less, tasty if the fish is fresh. It is important therefore that fresh fish is used for steamed fish. Fish less fresh should instead be fried.


450g/ 1 lb fish (any fish, whole or slices)
3 to 4 bulbs garlic
3 stalks scallion /spring onion (葱)
2 stalks cilantro/coriander (芫荽叶)
1 red chilli pepper
1 tsp warmed sesame oil or hot fried garlic oil

Marinating ingredients for fish
½ Tbsp shredded ginger
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tsp Chinese cooking wine (optional)

Seasoning ingredients for sauce
½ bowl water
1 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp sugar
1/8 tsp white pepper


1. Marinate fish with marinating ingredients for at least 15 minutes.

2. Put water to boil in a steamer (or wok or pan with a steaming rack placed in it).

3. Cut the thick white portion of the scallions/spring onions and place them on a plate.

4. Place the fish over them. Spread the garlic slices all over fish.

5. Pour in the seasoning sauce.

6. When water boils, place the plate in the steamer (or wok or pan).

7. Steam for 10 minutes or until cooked.

8. Sprinkle scallions/spring onion, cilantro/coriander and chili pepper over fish.

9. Drizzle sesame or garlic oil over and serve hot.

The sauce is optional. It is necessary for those who like their fish with more liquid, as there will not be much of it if additional water is not added.