Steamed Whole Fish

Steamed Whole Fish
Steamed Whole Fish (Source: WAFB)


Prep Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 2 to 4 servings

Comment: I love authentic Asian dishes. There are countless cultures that prepare fish whole, but this Chinese preparation is top-notch. The simplistic flavors of this dish create a delicious meal that is perfect for special occasions, big or small.

Stirrin' It Up: Steamed Whole Fish (Feb. 5, 2019)


1 (10-inch) whole red snapper, striped bass, or black bass, cleaned

salt and ground black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

2 tsps sesame oil, divided

3 tbsps thinly sliced fresh ginger, divided

½ cup thinly sliced scallions, divided

¼ cup thinly sliced white scallion bottoms, divided

10 sprigs cilantro, chopped and divided

2 tsps sugar, divided

¼ cup light soy sauce, divided

¼ cup vegetable oil


NOTE: You may wish to double this recipe, depending on size of fish.

Remove any scales from fish using a serrated knife. Cut off any fins and remove any gills with kitchen shears. Leave the tail and head intact for presentation. Clean the cavity thoroughly. Rinse fish and shake off excess water.

Season fish to taste with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic and set aside.

In the bottom of an 11” x 17” baking pan with 1-inch lip, fill pan ¾ full of water. Add ½ teaspoon each of sesame oil, ginger, scallions, scallion bottoms, cilantro, sugar, and soy sauce to pan. Add wire rack to pan. Place fish on top of wire rack and cover lightly with aluminum foil.

Place pan directly over medium-high heat until cooking liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover pan tightly with foil and steam fish 10–12 minutes.

Prick fish with fork to check for flakiness and doneness. Additional steaming may be necessary to cook fish thoroughly. The meat should be opaque down to the bone, but the bone should be slightly translucent.

Remove from heat and set aside, reserving ¼ cup poaching liquid.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil and remaining ginger then cook 1–2 minutes. Add remaining sesame oil, scallions, cilantro, sugar, and soy sauce and heat until simmering.

Add reserved poaching liquid and remaining white scallion bottoms. Stir until the liquid returns to a simmer.

Transfer fish to a small serving platter. Pour sauce evenly over fish and serve hot.

NOTE: The “Oven Bacon Pan” by NordicWare® is the perfect pan to prepare this dish in. It can be purchased at many retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

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