Steamed Fish

2009 August 1
by linda

It has been a long time since my husband requested for me to steam him a fish. I forgot when was the last time he ask me to do so. So, here it comes my very ‘diligent’ day. I took Nathan for a walk in the mornin,g as I rarely do (usually we go out around noon, so he could meet up with his daddy after work). Our schedule for that day was to go to register for Nathan’s new pre-school, and next destination was to spend some time in the park for a swing and slide. Silly me, it was the first day of school holiday, so the pre-school was closed. So off we went around the block, and I thought “Hmm the fish market is really close by.. why don’t I give them a visit.. It’s been a long time since we had our last fish”. Gosh, I didn’t bring the pram with me and I had to fool Nathan around, so that I didn’t have to carry him. I still had to carry him some time and he is very heavy.

Here we are inside the fish market, and I was looking at a stall full of different varieties of fishes that I don’t really have a clue about. I asked the fish monger to help me.

Me: ” What fish is good for steaming?”

Him: ” This is good.. and this.. and this.. and this…”

Me: “Do you have a fish that look like a kite?” (that is how clueless I am)

Him: “What .. kite??? Sting ray?”

Me: “hahhh???” (I was thinking really hard for that name, can’t remember the name either in English or Indonesian)

Him: “Oh Flounder… we don’t have them today”

Me: “That’s it.. Do you know any fish that’s good for steaming?”

Him: “This one is good (I forgot the name of the fish he told me).. it has the same shape as flounder and the flesh is sweeter”

Me: “Ok .. I’ll take the smallest one please”

Before I steamed the fish, I surfed the web for some information, tips, and recipes. I found the recipe from Kylie Kwong, I did not really follow her recipe though, but I do like her style of heating the oil and pouring them to the fish. So I did it to mine as well, plus I fried the ginger, garlic, and shallot until browned and fragrant with the oil, then poured them to the fish.

Steamed fish


  • 1 whole fish weigh 500-800 gr, scaled, cleaned and gutted
  • 1 tbsp/2 cm long ginger, cut in julienne
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 cloves shallot, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp of rice wine
  • 3 tbsp of water
  • 2 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of sesame oil
  • Oil for stir frying


  1. Get your steamer ready, and boil the water for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Place your fish in a shallow bowl. Pour in the water and rice wine. Sprinkle with half the amount of ginger, garlic and shallot. Steam for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Check the fish, if the flesh is still translucent, steam for another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Combine light soy sauce, fish sauce, caster sugar and sesame oil. Pour into the fish.
  5. Place the sliced spring onion on top of the fish.
  6. Heat oil in the pan. Fry half of the remaining ginger, garlic and shallot until fragrant and browning. Pour on top of the fish.

Preparation time (duration): 15

Culinary tradition: Chinese

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You!!!

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