Steamed Fish with Ginger Recipe

Background and History

Steamed Fish with Ginger is a classic dish that originates from Chinese cuisine, celebrated for its simplicity and healthy preparation method. Steaming preserves the fish’s natural flavors and nutrients, while the ginger and other aromatics impart a subtle yet delightful taste. This dish is often served during Chinese New Year and other special occasions, symbolizing prosperity and good fortune.


  • 1 whole white fish (such as sea bass, tilapia, or snapper), cleaned and scaled (about 1.5-2 pounds)
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, julienned
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 1 red chili, thinly sliced (optional, for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


4 people


  • Preparation: 15 minutes
  • Cooking: 20 minutes

Cooking Time

20 minutes


Prepare the Fish

  • Rinse the fish under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Make three diagonal cuts on each side of the fish to allow the flavors to penetrate.
  • Season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Aromatics

  • Thinly slice the ginger and julienne the green onions. Mince the garlic.
  • Mix the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and sugar in a small bowl.

Steam the Fish

  • Place half of the ginger slices inside the cavity of the fish.
  • Arrange the remaining ginger slices on a heatproof plate or dish that fits inside your steamer.
  • Lay the fish on top of the ginger slices on the plate.
  • Scatter the minced garlic and half of the green onions over the fish.
  • Pour the soy sauce mixture over the fish.
  • Fill a large pot or wok with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Place the plate with the fish in the steamer basket and cover.
  • Steam the fish for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the fish, until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is opaque throughout.


  • Carefully remove the fish from the steamer.
  • Garnish with the remaining green onions, fresh cilantro leaves, and sliced red chili if using.
  • Serve immediately with steamed rice and your favorite vegetables.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 200
  • Protein: 30g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 800mg
  • Cholesterol: 60mg


Fish Selection

Choose a fresh, whole white fish for the best flavor. Ensure it is cleaned and scaled by your fishmonger.

Steaming Method

If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a heatproof plate placed on a rack inside a large pot with a lid.

Soy Sauce

Light soy sauce is recommended for this dish. If using regular soy sauce, consider reducing the amount to avoid excessive saltiness.

Allergy Warning

  • Fish: This recipe contains fish, which is a common allergen.
  • Soy: The use of soy sauce contains soy, which may be an allergen for some individuals.
  • Sesame: Sesame oil is used in this recipe and may be an allergen for those with sesame allergies.

Enjoy your Steamed Fish with Ginger, a dish that brings the delicate and aromatic flavors of Chinese cuisine to your table!

Which fish is best for steaming?

The best fish for steaming is one with firm flesh and mild flavor, such as sea bass, tilapia, snapper, or trout.

How long should I steam my fish?

Steam fish for about 10-15 minutes per inch of thickness, until it flakes easily with a fork and is opaque throughout.

What to eat with steamed fish?

Steamed fish pairs well with steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables, or a light salad for a balanced and nutritious meal.

Why pour hot oil on steamed fish?

Pouring hot oil over steamed fish adds flavor and shine to the dish, enhancing its overall taste and appearance.

Is steamed fish healthy?

Yes, steamed fish is a healthy cooking method as it preserves the fish’s nutrients and natural flavors without adding extra calories from oil or breading.

Why should you not mix hot oil and water?

Mixing hot oil and water can cause the oil to splatter and create dangerous hot oil splashes, leading to burns or fires.

How do you know when steamed fish is done?

Steamed fish is done when it easily flakes with a fork, and the flesh turns opaque and separates easily from the bones.

How long does fish take to cook in hot oil?

Fish typically takes about 3-5 minutes to cook in hot oil, depending on the thickness of the fillets and the type of fish.

Does steaming require oil? Steaming does not require oil as it uses the natural moisture of the fish and steam to cook it, resulting in a healthier dish.

Why is steamed better than fried?

Steaming is considered healthier than frying as it requires little to no added fat, preserves more nutrients in the food, and reduces the formation of harmful compounds like acrylamide found in fried foods.

Ignatius Thornfield
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Ignatius Thornfield, the discerning Recipe Connoisseur behind this site, is a culinary aficionado dedicated to transforming pet dining into an art form. With an exquisite taste for flavors and a keen eye for nutritious combinations, Ignatius shares a curated collection of gourmet pet recipes. His site is a sanctuary for pet owners seeking to indulge their furry friends with delectable and health-conscious meals. Ignatius's expertise in the realm of pet cuisine is evident in the sophisticated and thoughtfully crafted content he presents. For those who appreciate the finer culinary experiences for their pets, Ignatius Thornfield's site is a treasure trove of gastronomic delights.