Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cantonese style steamed fish 粵式蒸魚

In my humble opinion there is no better way of cooking fish than simply steaming it the Cantonese way. It is very tempting to order a steamed fish when we are dining out at a Chinese restaurant but at $18/lb (roughly $40 for a 1.2kg barramundi) that is more than what we are willing to pay for just one dish. Although the urge of turning some fresh flathead fillets I bought into a sinful plate of sweet and sour fish was scarily strong, I opted for the more sensible idea of Cantonese steamed fish instead. It was a good move indeed; the dish turned out to be a crowd pleaser, not to mentioned how much time was saved from cleaning a greasy kitchen afterwards. This is a very delicate dish, just make sure nothing curried is served alongside it!
P.S Use whole snapper, bream or barramundi, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

serves 4 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
500 g of flathead fillet 
5 cm knob of ginger, julienne
2 spring onions, julienne
1 red chili, julienne
2 stalks of coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of Chinese coking wine
1/2 cup of light soy
dash of sesame oil
1/4 cup of cooking oil
*ginger and Chinese cooking wine is often use with seafood to rid the finished dish of any fishiness. Don't be alarmed by the amount of cooking wine, the alcohol will be cooked off during the steaming process.

Prepare the toppings and set aside.

Place fish in a shallow bowl that will fit inside your wok (place a metal rack in the wok). Pour cooking wine, soy and a dash of sesame oil over. Top with julienne ginger and julienne spring onion (white part only).

Pour hot water into the wok, cover and steam on high heat for 10 minutes. If using thicker fillets or whole fish adjust the time accordingly.

Place prepared toppings over the fish. Meanwhile heat up the cooking oil til smoking, chopped garlic can be added depending on your preference.

Pour hot oil over the dish, this will partially scald the toppings and form a very delicious "sauce" with the steaming liquor.

Serve immediately as part of a Chinese meal. One can really taste the sweetness of the fish and the "sauce" together with the toppings are perfect with bowls of waiting steamed rice!


  1. oh looks delicious thanks for all your sweet comments great to know you


  2. I love steamed fish done the Cantonese style, it looks wonderful!

  3. hai Tummy..thank you ya dah lama cari resepi seperti ini.Kegemaran pakcik nih..mesti buat besok..kena cari ikan yang sesuai dulu.t.kasih:)

  4. Harriet from CarltonMay 8, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    This is my favourite dish! Thank you!

  5. I've never had fish prepared like this. Looks flathead a type of catfish?

  6. That looks like a restaurant dish! I have never used flathead before. It looks so delicious and I do like to see your version of sweet and sour fish too!

  7. Love the steamed fish! They taste the best.

  8. salam tummy..makcik nak tanya wine tu halal ke..tak pernah guna..sorry ya..makcik suka ikan steam..yg lebih menyedapkan ialah bila digoreng bawang putih n dicurahkan bersama dgn minyak tu..dah meleleh air liur ni..tu yg buat lagi ummmph tu..

  9. 好飄亮的一盤粵式蒸魚呀!好久沒蒸魚了,看了很開胃!

  10. Una receta super autentica.

  11. Rebecca,
    Thank you! Love to get to know you too!

    shanshan ,
    Thank you very much! :)

    Terima kasih makcik! Saya tidak tau nama ikan yang sesuai di Melayu, masaklah bagi pakcik kalau dia suka hidangan begini :)

    Thank you and you are most welcome!

    Thank you! You must try this! It is the best way to eat fish!

    CW ,
    It is my first time cooking flathead too! It is very sweet and tasty so try it!

    Thank you very much!

    mohdandmeriam ,
    Salam makcik.. saya kurang tahu kalau cooking wine tu halal, ianya memang arak tetapi selepas dikukus ianya tidak lagi berarak. Saya kurang faham kalau itu halal atau haram, makcik saya yang muslim masak masakan Tionghua dengan cooking wine. Kalau tidak halal pakai chicken stock sahaja :)

    大肥 ,

  12. Great work buddy! Can't afford steamed fish at Chinese restaurant too! I am going to try this very soon. We have some aged beef for you incase you haven't got our message!

  13. hi tummy... epi mothers day! i like steamed fish or chicken coz very healhty!

  14. I do love this dish! Steamed fish with salad what better for a healthy diet.
    That sounds and looks great!
    B xx

  15. The best way to cook fish - my favourite is sea bass. Although as down under, it costs a lot for a whole steamed fish in London when eating out (around £25, which equates to A$40).

  16. Looks fantastic! I have got to try steaming my fish. My daughter loves salmon with mojo marinade, baked in my stoneware, so I hate to change too much as long as she's eating fish. She is starting to try more and more new things, so I'll give this one a try!

  17. I must try flathead as well. Mister is the better one when it comes to steaming fish

  18. This is absolutely healthy and delicious :)

  19. I feel a sense of guilt that I do not prepare asian food more often.I suppose it's because I have traveled throughout Asia and eating there is heavenly and difficult to least some recipes!
    I have had this recipe before and it's delicious! thanks for sharing!

  20. I also love to steam fish too. It is delicious when the fish is really fresh.

  21. Never tasted cantonese style of steamed fish..but it sure looks yum.

  22. What a terrific preparation! I will have to try this soon!

  23. I can't take my eyes from the lively clicks...tempting recipe dear.

  24. Great tutorial. Nice tip on the curry. Will have to remember that. Love your pictures.

  25. I miss this type of steamed fish. It's very delicious.

  26. I love steamed fish! The sauce is so good with rice!

  27. Steamed fish are always healthy and delicious , my method and yours are quite different and I think yours and mine are both delicious

  28. I love steamed fish. My favourite way is with bits of tofu, fresh ginger and preserved vegetables (not sure what style that is)..but this way looks so flavourful and fresh, yum! WIll have to give this a go soon :)

  29. le poisson cuit à la vapeur doit être un pur régal, belle recette
    bonne soirée

  30. what a great way to cook fish...I love your presentation

  31. I love steam fish!!! For something that is seemingly light it is such great comfort food. In our household we also add 2 or three lumps of pork fat and sometimes a little clump of tamarind. Inspiritional as always Hungry Tummies!!!

  32. I love steamed fish - fresh and retains the good taste of the fish. Love the garnishes.

  33. fitzboy,
    Oh thank you! I haven't check my messages for days I hope you still have the beef :)

    hana ,
    Oh saya in bujang bukan ibu lol. Terima kasih, cubalah!

    Thank you very much! It is very delicious and extremely healthy!

    Mr Noodles,
    I am glad you agree with me :) So it is about the same price then :)

    Thank you! She will love this one I promise!

    penny aka jeroxie ,
    Get some! Leave it to him then :)

    Thank you very much!

    natural selection,
    Oh most of them is so easy to replicate at home, do try :)

    Anncoo ,
    I can't agree more!

    Pravs ,
    Thank you! You must try it then!

    5 Star Foodie ,
    Thank you very much! Please do!

    Thank you very much!

    All Our Fingers in the Pie,
    Thank you very much!

    MaryMoh ,
    You must get good fish over there, do it soon!

    pigpigscorner ,
    It is the plate is always empty!

    I love the teochew style and Thai style too! Good with friends.

    shaz ,
    Oh I love that too the teochew style! Please do!

    Merci beaucoup!

    Chef Dennis,
    Thank you very much!

    Thank you! I love how everyone has their little touch when it comes to steamed fish :)

    noobcook ,
    thank you very much!

  34. Yes, please !! I like steamed fish.. but never tried this fish before!

  35. I just discovered your website recently and I really want to thank you for sharing all your recipes! This steamed fish in particular was beyond fantastic! Much better than most Cantonese restaurants I've been to - we know as we were relocated to Guangzhou 4 years ago and still here! :)


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