This is going to be the easiest fish recipe you’ve ever made! Yep, I went there. I have a few salmon recipes on my blog (all of which are easy btw!), but there’s something special about this Chinese steamed fish recipe. It’s light, delicate, and still SO satisfying… Even my skeptical husband ended up finishing the entire thing to himself!
Best Type of Fish to Steam
For this light and healthy fish recipe, we’re using fish fillets. While you can steam whole fish, I generally prefer fillets because they’re quicker to cook and prep!
When deciding which kind of fish to choose, I highly recommend avoiding oily fish (such as mackerel, trout, or salmon) and stick with white fish, such as:
- Sea bass
Cooking Time for This Healthy Fish Recipe
The steaming time will vary depending on the type of fish and the thickness of the fillet. I’ll usually cook the fillet for about 10 minutes, then check its doneness from there.
You don’t want to cook it for too long, otherwise, you’ll end up with a tough fillet. You’ll know the fish is done when you can easily flake the fish using a fork or dull butter knife.
If You Don’t Have a Steamer…
Although I enjoy cooking, steaming food is a method I don’t do often. Because of this, I don’t own a steamer, but that’s never stopped me from steaming delicious food!
If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry, I got you covered with a makeshift steamer hack. All you need are 3 kitchen tools you probably already have: a large pan with a lid, heat-proof plate, and wire rack or aluminum foil molded into a ring shape.
All you have to do is place the wire rack or aluminum foil ring at the bottom of the pan. Then, lay the heat-proof plate on top with the fish. Carefully, pour water into the pan until it’s just below the plate. Avoid getting any water on the plate or fish.
Cover it up with a lid and voila! You’re ready to steam away!
Delicious Sides to Enjoy with Your Chinese Steamed Fish
- Spinach Garlic Stir-Fry (SUPER Quick & Easy!)
- Garlic Edamame Recipe (5 Minutes Only!)
- Miso Roasted Cauliflower (Easy & Healthy!)
- 10-Minute Chili Garlic Noodles (Viral Favorite!)
- Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce (Restaurant-Quality Made Easy!)
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Chinese Steamed Fish
- ½ tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 10- oz tilapia fillet* or halibut or sea bass
- 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
- 2 inches ginger thinly julienned
- 3 dried chilies cut in 1-inch slices
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 green onion thinly julienned
- In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and stir until salt and sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Place tilapia fillet on a heat-proof plate, then place in a steamer. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a large pan or wok and place the plate of fish on a wire rack or aluminum foil shaped into a ring. Carefully, pour enough water into the pan so it’s just below the plate, avoiding getting water onto the plate. Steam for 7 - 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. It’s better to check earlier and cook a little longer so the fish doesn’t turn tough. You’ll know it’s done when the fish easily flakes using a fork or butter knife. Once the fish is cooked, drain any excess liquid from the plate and transfer to a serving plate.
- Heat a small pan on medium-low heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil then saute garlic, ginger, and dried chilies for a few seconds, or until fragrant.
- Pour in the soy sauce along the rim of the pan to create smokey charr, then add the sauce mixture, stir, and cook for a few seconds.
- Pour the sauce on top of the fish and garnish with green onions on top. Serve immediately with freshly steamed rice, if desired. Enjoy!
- Fish: If you don't like tilapia or it's not available, other white flakey fish fillets would work. You'll just want to avoid oily fishes, such as salmon or trout. See the "Best Types of Fish to Steam" section above for a list of alternatives!
Exact calculations may vary. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
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