#1 Favorite Chinese Steamed Whole Fish by Sy

READY IN: 45mins
Recipe by SkipperSy

Steamed whole fresh fish is one of the best liked of all Cantonese Chinese dishes. One of my favorite sauces to go along with steamed fish is a "Ginger and Scallion Sauce." Serve this simple and flavorful dish with plain white rice and a side dish of fresh green chinese vegetables topped with Oyster Sauce.

Top Review by Goody2shz

I was intrigued both by the cooking method and the use of the hot oil, so I had to try it. It came out excellently! I followed the directions exactly except I used a regular steamer basket (with the handle thingy removed) splayed out flat inside the wok with the fish on it. Worked perfectly. I used whole tilapia. My only complaint, if you can even call it a complaint, is the oil was a little too heavy for me, so next time I will probably use a little less. I'll definitely be making this again. Thanks!
P.S. The steaming produces a rich fish broth in the bottom of the wok. I bottled it and will use in the next recipe that calls for fish broth or fish stock. Yum!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • FISH

  • 1 -1 12 lb fresh fish, with the head and tail on (scales removed and insides cleaned -- I prefer CHINESE SEA BASS)
  • 2 scallions, cleaned and trimmed
  • Chinese rice wine (not Japanese)

  • 18 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 slices gingerroot, cut into very thin strips
  • 2 scallions, cleaned and trimmed, then cut on a diagonal and into thin strips 1 inch in length
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or 2 tablespoons regular soya sauce (not the dark soya sauce)


  1. Clean and scale the fish and remove the insides, however, leave the head and tail on.
  2. Rinse under cold water and then pat dry.
  3. Place the fish in an oblong oven proof/microwave proof dish and add a little rice wine to both sides.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove the wine.
  5. Place two whole scallions under the fish to prop the fish up, which will allow steam to flow underneath.
  6. STEAMING THE FISH: Place water in a large wok and using a flat round trivet on top of the wok, bring water to a boil.
  7. Place the fish plate on the trivet and cover.
  8. Steam the fish for about 10-15 minutes, use a fork to poke the flesh of the fish to see that it is done (It should be white and not translucent, don't overcook).
  9. Remove the fish plate from the wok, pour off the cloudy liquid, discard the scallions and then place the plate in the kitchen sink.
  10. (Why? Cause when you pour hot oil over the fish, it will splatter all over).
  11. As an alternative for steaming, put plastic wrap over the fish plate and then into the microwave oven.
  12. Microwave on high for about 5-6 minutes; check for doneness as noted above, and pour off the cloudy liquid and discard the scallions.
  13. Sprinkle the fish with pepper& salt.
  14. Spread over the fish the scallions and ginger strips.
  15. In a small frying pan add the peanut& sesame oil and heat just to smoking.
  16. Then pour smoking oil over the fish, be careful with the oil splattering.
  17. Next add the soya sauce.
  18. Serve hot with white rice and chinese vegetables toped with oyster sauce!

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