Healthy Steamed Ginger Scallion Fish
The best way to enjoy fresh fish is to steam it. Hot steam gently cooking the fish’s flesh locks in so much flavour, making the meal memorable and delightful. Homemade ginger scallion sauce gives the fish a little savouriness and mild heat; while the saltiness of the soy sauce mixture accentuates the freshness of the fish. This Steamed Ginger Scallion Fish is one that my family cannot resist having second serves of rice.
Steamed Ginger Scallion Fish Recipe
The fish that I usually steam are white-fleshed fish, with a less amount of bones. Fish like the Barramundi/ Asian Sea Bass (Ikan Siakap), Tilapia (Ikan Tilapia), and Grouper (Ikan Kerapu) are perfect for steaming – but they must be really fresh. The fish’s body has to be very firm, the gills are deep red and the eyes are very clear – these are signs that they are good for steaming.
Apart from the fish, seasonings are very important. I used my homemade ginger scallion sauce, sesame oil, light soy sauce, salt, and pepper to complement the flavours of the fish. Shaoxing wine (or Chinese cooking rice wine) were added for fragrance, and sliced red chillies and spring onions were used as garnishings. Some water was used as well to dilute the sauce.
Prepare the steamer over medium heat. As the water is coming to a rolling boil, marinate the fish.
For today’s recipe, I had a really good Asian Sea Bass, descaled, with the insides removed. Make some cuts following the vertical lines of the fish for the flavours to seep into it as it cooks evenly. This process is called “scoring fish”.
Then, marinate the fish with salt, going over the fish’s body, the scores and in the stomach. Place the fish on a heatproof plate for steaming.
Carefully lift the plate and put it in the steamer. I used a steaming clamp to reduce the risk of burns. Steam is quite hot and can burn the skin, even if there is no contact with water. (If you get burned, calmly set everything down, and apply sugar on the burned area.)
Cover the steamer and let it cook for 10 minutes. This was enough for my 750g of Asian Sea Bass. However, the cooking time may differ based on the size, weight and heat of the pan. Next, let’s prepare the sauce.
Soy Sauce Mix & Ginger Scallion Sauce
This sauce gives a nice balance of saltiness to the savoury ginger scallion sauce and the freshness of the fish.
In a bowl of water, add in the light soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine and pepper. Stir until they are well-combined.
I also like to prepare a separate bowl of ginger scallion sauce for easier access later. With a clean, dry spoon, set aside 6 tablespoons to lather generously all over the fish when it is cooked. Using a clean and dry spoon prevents moisture from contaminating the rest of the ginger scallion sauce, so we can enjoy more of it later! 😉
Steamed Ginger Scallion Fish
After the 10 minutes are up, carefully open the lid. As my steamed fish is uncovered, there is a lot of the fishy liquid that formed in the steaming plate. Remove the formed liquid so that the gravy will not contain its fishiness.
Return the plate back to the steamer. With a flat spoon or spatula, spread the ginger scallion sauce all over the fish; in between the scores and inside the stomach. Try to get it at every nook and cranny of the fish so that every bite has a little bit of this golden sauce.
Then, spoonful by spoonful, pour the soy sauce mixture all over the fish, and along the sides. You want to do this little by little, and not all at once to evenly distribute the soy sauce, and to prevent overflow.
I ended up with too much sauce as my steaming plate was a little shallow; but if yours is deep enough, all of it can be added.
Then, close the lid on the steamer and set the timer for another 4 minutes. This is to allow the fish, ginger scallion sauce and soy sauce mixture to further season the fish as it is cooking.
Once the 4 minutes are up, switch off the heat. Carefully remove the steaming plate from the steamer with the steaming clamps. Set it on a heatproof surface, or on a coaster.
Garnish with some cut spring onions and thinly sliced red chillies. Serve immediately to enjoy it while it’s still hot.
It smells so good and it looks even better! Taking a bite of the white flesh of the Asian Sea Bass; the ginger scallion’s nutty and very mild heat melts into the saltiness of the soy sauce; enhancing the sweetness of the fresh, steamed fish. It’s just so good and so simple to make.
My family will probably go for third servings. Enjoy!
Steamed Fish with Ginger Scallion Sauce
- Steaming Pot
- Steam Clamp for Plates
- Heat-Resistant Plate for Steaming
- 650 g sea bass, cleaned, washed with salt, scored on both sides
- 6 tbsp ginger scallion sauce, homemade
- 150 ml water
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine, Chinese cooking rice wine
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ red chilli, cut to strips
- 1 stalk spring onion
- Rub the salt little by little, evenly on the fish, in the cuts, sides and stomach area.
Steaming the Fish
- Prepare the steamer with hot boiling water.
- Add in the marinated fish.
- Cover the pan and steam for 10 minutes.
Prepare the Ginger Scallion Gravy
- Add in water, light soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine and pepper into a mixing bowl.
- Stir until well-combined. Leave aside.
Assembling the Steamed Fish
- After 10 minutes, carefully remove the fishy liquid from the steaming plate.
- Spread the ginger scallion sauce evenly around the fish, in between the cuts and in the stomach.
- Pour spoonfuls of the soy sauce mixture evenly over the fish, on the sides and the top, until the steaming plate is full.
- Cover the pot and steam for 4 minutes.
- Remove from the steamer. Garnish with cut spring onions and chilli.
- Serve while hot.
- Best consumed while still hot.
- Not recommended to keep even for the next meal as the meat of the fish tends to deteriorate very fast.