Steamed Fish with Spicy Ginger Sesame Sauce


I usually serve this dish as a whole fish complete with head and tail.  The sauce is poured over the fish after steaming it and then sprinkled with chopped coriander and spring onions.  I always make extra sauce because my husband likes to pour the sauce over steamed rice.

As you can see here, recipe #15 our last recipe in our Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration series, can be served as portions of fish fillet.  It is important to get good white fish that won’t fall apart after steaming!


  • one whole fish cleaned or 200 – 300 grams of white fish fillet such as red snapper
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 3 tbs soy sauce (or more depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbs sugar (or more depending on your taste)
  • 4 drops chili oil or 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs thinly sliced ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 stalks spring onions, chopped (set aside some for garnishing)
  • 2 tbs chopped coriander, stems and leaves (set aside some for garnishing)


  1. Steam whole fish in steamer until cooked. Depending on how large the fish is, this can take from 15 – 30 minutes. Place on serving plate and keep warm in a 200 oven.  If using fish fillets, cut fillets in serving portions. Season with salt and pepper.  Line steamer with parchment paper and place fillets. Cover and steam for 10 – 15 minutes until cooked through. Place in serving plates or keep in steamer until ready to serve.
  2. In a pot, mix the rest of the ingredients and boil.  Check seasoning and adjust.
  3. Pour over fish and sprinkle with chopped coriander and spring onions. Serve with steamed rice.
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» Monique said: { Feb 10, 2009 - 04:02 }

I am a very visual eater and if my food is looking at me… I cant eat it LOL. But this fish looks so succulent and yummy! Kudos!

» lisa (dandysugar) said: { Feb 10, 2009 - 04:02 }

I love dishes like this, with ginger and garlic and soy. This looks delicious and healthy!

» sugarlens said: { Feb 10, 2009 - 06:02 }

My mother-in-law makes similar dish with sea bass fillet. So good! It is the most popular dish among the family members. I never tried to cook it at home on my own, but I will do it now. Thanks!

» virtual chef said: { Feb 10, 2009 - 09:02 }

Monique: if i wasn’t used to eating fish that way, I will probably feel the same way as you. :)

sugarlens: i bet it tastes great with sea bass fillet. chilean sea bass is my husband’s favorite fish!

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