Steamed Fish Recipe (Chinese Steamed Fish)
March 04th, 2009 87 Comments

Steamed Fish Recipe (Chinese Steamed Fish)

Chinese Steamed Fish

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Recipe: Restaurant-style Chinese Steamed Fish


1 live fish (about 1.5 lb or less)
2 inches ginger (peeled and cut into thin strips)
1 stalk scallion (cut into 2-inch length, and then cut into thin silken threads)
Some cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine or rice wine

Steamed Fish Soy Sauce Mixture:

4 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons shaoxing wine or rice wine
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes white pepper powder
2 tablespoons rock sugar (grind into powder form) or to taste


Clean the fish properly (remove scales, guts, gills, etc.) and pat dry. Blend the soy sauce mixture in a small bowl and set aside.

Lay the fish on a plate and drizzle 1 tablespoon shaoxing (or rice) wine on top of the fish. Top the fish with 1/2 of the cut ginger strips.

Heat up a wok with enough water for steaming. Wait for the water to boil. As soon as it boils, place your fish inside the wok, propped up with a small inverted bowl or a couple of wooden blocks (meant for steaming). Cover your wok tightly and set your kitchen alarm for 8 minutes.

As soon as the fish is done steaming, transfer it out from the wok. Discard the fish water and ginger strips. Lay the remaining ginger strips on top of the fish.

Heat up a pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, swirl around until it’s hot. Pour the hot oil over the steamed fish. Put the pan back onto the stove, add the soy sauce mixture and stir well. As soon as the sauce bubbles up and boils, pour the soy sauce over the fish. Topped with scallions and cilantro leaves and serve the steamed fish immediately with white rice.

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87 comments... read them below or add one

  1. nimrod says:

    Hi, this recipe is fantastic. I tried it with Grouper and Pomfret and it was just delicious. However, I only used 1/2 of the amount for the rock sugar, felt that 2 tablespoons of rock sugar is a lot. Please keep the recipes coming, I’m a fan of yours now! (Also Malaysian :P)

    • enbeuu says:

      over the years, i’ve used Stella Chan’s technique in her book (Out of print) but found on Amazon. I ran out of the bottle of Chinese soy sauce…and don’t know which brand to get again. and have not used the rock sugar mentioned in this one.
      Personally don’t think sweet soy flavors are desired in this dish; but that might be heresy to some.

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  3. Mui says:

    I would like someone suggest a nice soya sauce, sesame oil and black vinegar sauce. I live in uk, not always can find the brand I want….

  4. Yen Yen Lio says:

    I have made this dish countless of times using the recipe provided.
    My husband and son just can’t get enough of it. It is so delicious!
    Thanks for the recipe :)

  5. Thanks u solved my problem on steamed fish cooking

  6. Jen says:

    Hi, what is the alternative for rock sugar??

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  8. Eve says:

    Whats the alternative for rice wine? Can hua tiao jiu do the job too?

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  10. Devin says:

    Rasa Malaysia, I was wondering if you’ve tried Ponzu instead of the soy sauce? I plan to experiment later this week.

  11. DanS says:

    Bookmarked this page! Will try this recipe!
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Cindy says:

    Tried this tonight with half a parrot fish my parents gave me and it was great! Thanks!

  13. Char says:

    My husband’s Malaysian relatives are here in Australia on holiday staying with us, so this recipe was the perfect solution for Christmas lunch in summer. Thanks Beee

  14. venessa says:

    This recipe is a keeper….absolutely delish. Hubby loves it. Glad I have all the ingredients. Will be making this again :)

  15. Sharon says:

    I’ve tried this recipe and my husband loves it.
    What soy sauce brand did you use? I used Yeos. It was good but thinking to improve the recipe further by trying other sauces.

  16. William says:

    I travel to china often for business. This is my favorite dish when I am there. I just purchased my first wok. How do I steam fish with it?

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