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Teochew Steamed Fish

Teochew Steamed Fish
Teochew Steamed Fish pictures (1 of 3)

One of the reason why Malaysian food is so interesting is because of the diverse racial composition of different ethnic groups: the Malays (native), Chinese (mostly came from southern China), and Indian (mostly from southern Indian). For Chinese food alone, in Malaysia, we get to sample various regional Chinese cuisines: Fujian, Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka, Fuchow, etc. There are always something different to please the palate every day.

Teochew food is quite popular in Malaysia because there are many of them in the Chinese community. In Penang, there are a few traditional Teochew restaurants and one of the dishes I love the most is Teochew Steamed Fish. Unlike Cantonese-style steamed fish (click for my recipe), which is basically a very simple dish of steamed fish with soy sauce, Teochew Steamed Fish really takes  it to the next level. The dish is sour (from the sour plum, tomato, and preserved mustard), savory, absolutely delightful and appetizing to the taste buds. Teochew steamed fish also comes with soft and silken tofu, thinly sliced pork, and the garnishing of scallion, cilantro, and ginger complete the dish.

Teochew Steamed Fish

Teochew steamed fish is easy to to make at home and the ingredients are relatively easy to get. In this Teochew Steamed Fish recipe, I use the cod fillet instead of the more commonly-used whole pomfret fish or ikan siakap (Malay word for “barramundi”). The fillet of cod is much firmer in texture, but it works well as long as you don’t over-steam it. The sour plum gives the dish a deeper flavor. Enjoy!

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12 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. LOL. So many questions about the ingredients above. This is about the only way I’d have my pomfret. And my favourite part is having some rice vermicelli or bee hoon under the fish as it steams to soak up all that juices. One dish meal right there! I wrote about it on my blog some time ago. Totally obsessed with zha chai too.

  2. Menardi

    In a previous fish recipie you posted, you described that the water the fish is first steamed in should actually be discarded because of its bitter taste. Only after transferring the fish to a new plate should we pour on the hot oil and sauce. In this recipie, are you saying that the fish is kept in the original sauce that it is steamed in? Why is that the case here and not with the other recipie?

    • This is Teochew steamed fish and there are a lot more toppings, for example: the salted/sour plum, picked mustard, tomatoes that would release its tastes and would rid the fishy smell. The other steamed fish is plain with just soy sauce mixture.

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