Chinese steamed fish

I saw a chef use a technique of pouring hot oil with some seasonings over fish in one of the Chopped episodes. All the judges commended him for that. I loved the idea too! It was almost like a chinese style “tadka/tarka” for the fish 🙂 So I tried to look up a recipe in which I would be able to use the same technique. And this is the one I decided to use. As usual, I made some minor changes to the recipe!

Chinese style Steamed Fish

2 bunches Scallions / green onions



Red chillies

Soy sauce


Salt  & pepper

Vegetable oil

Tilapia fillets

Cut half the scallions into 3″ pieces and the about 3″ ginger into coins. Use these and some cilantro to make a bed for the fish in a shallow vessel (preferably a metal sieve).

Mix soy sauce,salt,sugar,chopped cilantro,finely chopped scallions, pepper and oil in a microwave safe bowl. Use very little of this mixture to marinate the fish. Place the fish on its bed in the sieve. Pull out some of the bed ingredients and spread them on top of the fish.

Bring about 2″ water to a rolling boil in a deep vessel. Wipe off the condensation on the cover. Now prop up the shallow vessel/sieve with the fish on a small inverted bowl, inside the deep vessel. If you have a steamer use that instead of this elaborate arrangement! Steam the fish for about 5 minutes.

A minute before the fish is done, heat the soy sauce mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds. Once the fish is done spread the mixutre like a paste on top of the fish as if to coat it.

Finely chop some scallions,ginger and red chillies into thin strips. Heat some oil in a pan and sauté these strips. Pour this hot oil mixture onto the fish right before you serve.

For the sides I made shallot rice (Cut some shallots and sauté them in a pan, add pre-cooked basmati rice,salt to taste and paprika, add some chopped scallions in the end and fry for 2-3 minutes) and asian coleslaw (Finely cut cabbage and green onions, grate some carrot, make sure all of the components are in the form of long strips, add some turmeric powder, sugar,salt,lime juice and oil. Mix well)

This dish is delicious! I love it because it has such simple components and it is still really flavorful. You could easily skip the steaming, bake the fish (keeping all other components the same) and still make a great dish! I will definitely make this again 🙂

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