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Steamed Fish
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Recipe courtesy of Ryan Wong

Steamed Fish with Seasoned Soy Sauce and Scallion

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes steeping time)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
This preparation of steamed fish is a classic dish cooked at home for family gatherings, special occasions and Lunar New Year. It is often included as one of the courses at any Chinese banquet, regardless of the occasion. This dish symbolizes good fortune and abundance, as the Chinese word for “fish” sounds very similar to the Chinese word for “abundance.” When I was growing up, my mom often made this dish for Lunar New Year celebratory meals. The traditional flavors of this recipe invoke those childhood memories and are sure to bring back nostalgia for anyone who grew up in a Chinese household.



Steamed Fish:


  1. For the sauce: Add the Shaoxing wine to a small pot and heat over high heat until it starts to boil. Add the chicken stock, light soy sauce, sugar, ginger and dried tangerine peel to the pot. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to steep for 1 hour. Remove the ginger and dried tangerine peel. Set aside the sauce until ready to use.
  2. For the steamed fish: Pat the fish dry and put on a heatproof plate. Scatter the ginger over the fish.
  3. Put a steamer rack in a pot wide enough to fit the fish. Add enough water to come almost up to the rack, place over high heat and bring to a full boil. Put the plate with the fish on the rack, cover the pot, lower the heat slightly and steam until the flesh flakes off the bones, 18 to 20 minutes. Pour off any liquid that has accumulated on the plate. Scatter the scallions over the fish.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a small pot until smoking. Slowly and carefully pour the hot oil over the scallions on the fish; the hot oil will release the aromas and flavors from the scallions.
  5. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Pour enough sauce around the fish to cover the bottom of the plate by 1/4 inch. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs on top of the fish. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

Have your fishmonger remove the gills and scale and gut the fish to save yourself some time and a messy cleanup.