Chinese-Style Steamed Whole Fish

So I haven’t posted anything for awhile. My apologies for that. I had gotten busy with some personal life things. Am still quite busy but wanted to share some of the things I have been up to in the last few months.

Chinese Style Steamed Fish Bite Close-up

This summer, we visited New York City and of course we had to eat while we were there. We decided on a Chinese restaurant in China Town. Since my family is a big fish lover (except for my husband and nephew), we ordered this steamed whole fish that was just simple divine! We loved it so much that we ordered  a second one. When I got back, I just couldn’t forget about this wonderful dish. So I did some research and decided to do some experiments. This was the result! My brother-in-law who has just moved here after spending 6 years in China, said it was pretty close to what he used to have there and that definitely put a smile on my face 🙂

Steamed Whole Fish

Chinese Style Steamed Fish Prep


1 whole fish (about 2 lbs)
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
4-6 green onion or scallions, julienned
4 inch piece ginger, adjust to your taste
1 lime/lemon
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp sambal oelek
1/8 cup water

Chinese Style Steamed Fish

Wash the fish very well and then towel dry. It is important that you remove as much of the water as possible. Sprinkle a little salt on the fish and place on the dish that is heat safe and will fit in the steamer (I used a large wok). The dish will go straight to table from the steamer so choose accordingly. Score the fish, this will allow for more flavours to get into the fish. Now take some of the ginger, sliced or julienned and some lime, and arrange in under, on top and the belly of the fish. Keep aside the rest of the ginger.

In the mean time, in the pot/wok/steamer, heat water and bring to a boil. You don’t need a lot of oil. To keep the plate I was using to hold the fish, above water, I took a ramekin and placed it it the water before it started boiling.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, water and sesame oil. Take two or three teaspoons and drizzle on the fish and place the fish to be steamed.  Cover the pot and steam for about 10 minutes. Now lift the cover and drain any water that has accumulated in the dish with the fish. Keep the liquid if possible. Now add scallion and rest of the ginger on the fish and steam for a few more minutes. Once the fish is cooked, remove from heat. In a sauce pan, heat the soy sauce mixture and add the sambal oelek and the reserved liquid from the fish. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl, mix the corn starch with some cold water. Add the corn starch mixture to the sauce and bring it back to boil. Pour the sauce on the fish and serve with steamed rice. This is a dish that’s best served right after it is cooked.

Chinese Style Steamed Fish

4 responses to “Chinese-Style Steamed Whole Fish

  1. Looks way better, fresher and prettier than the one they serve at Chinese/Thai restaurants 🙂
    Totally, utterly, deeply loved your recipe and yum-yum lovely pictures 🙂

  2. This looks fabulous. Your site is amazing and filled with tasty recipes. Thanks for sharing with us.

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