poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

Chinese-style steamed fish with sweet soy sauce


Steamed fish covered in yummy sauce.

As promised, here is the recipe for the steamed fish that I mentioned in my last post. A note about the fish: any flaky fish will do. I used tilapia (above), but flounder, grouper, sea bass (if you can find an environmentally friendly source), or snapper are also good choices. Also, this dish is usually made with a whole fish (as the recipe calls for) but filets work too — though you won’t need to cut slits in filets, FYI. It’s a very easy recipe, and even easier if you have a gigantic steamer like I do. If you don’t, simply invert a heavy (preferably flat-bottomed bowl) in a large stock pot, fill the pot with 2 inches of water, and place a large colander on top of the inverted bowl. Voila! You have yourself a fish steamer.

Liz’s Yummy Steamed Fish Recipe

1 fish or fish filets (at least 1 lb)
1/4 – 1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine (michiu)
1-2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
2-3 Tbsp thinly sliced ginger
1/2 cup chopped green onions
6 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (more or less, to taste)
3 Tbsp water


  1. Cut slits along the body of the fish on both sides. Marinate fish in cooking wine for 5-10 minutes. Flip fish over to marinate the other side for another 5-10 minutes.
  2. Steam the fish. For a 2 pound fish, steam for 7 minutes or until the meat starts to separate from the bone. Remove the fish from heat and transfer to a large plate.
  3. Mix the sugar, soy sauce, water, and chili garlic sauce together and set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Fry ginger and green onion until brown and fragrant.
  5. Add soy and sugar mix to the ginger and green onion. As soon as sauce boils, pour over steamed fish.
  6. Garnish with long pieces of cilantro, if desired. Serve over rice.

Author: Jen

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

5 thoughts on “Chinese-style steamed fish with sweet soy sauce

  1. wow! I need A LOT of this in my life right now…Can’t wait to try it out 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love this combination of ingredients – I can never get bored of fish, especially with Asian flavours.

    • I totally agree! It’s been a long time since I’ve made this, but having it again reminded me how delicious it is. It’s definitely going to be part of our regular cooking rotation.

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