Chinese-Style Steamed Fish in Soy Sauce

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It’s a lazy day, totally different yet refreshing and even using my laptop feels great. I got my windows reinstalled late this morning and it sure works superb. I just finished installing all the software I need and for a while I thought I wouldn’t be able to login to my WordPress admin as I forgot my password, which was saved on my browser. Oh well. And so I am back to blogging that I have missed so much. This is Chinese-style but very much similar to my mom’s undoubtedly Batangueno steamed fish recipe.


Chinese-Style Steamed Fish in Soy Sauce
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • White pomfret (any whole fish, your choice)
  • Few slices of crushed ginger
  • Ringlets of onion spring
  • Few tbsp of crushed garlic (optional)
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil (optional)
  • Peanut or salad oil
  1. Clean, rinse and drain fish. Score the skin on both sides.
  2. Before arranging in a steaming bowl, sprinkle salt on the fish and place a mixture of ginger (and garlic) inside the cavity and on the fish itself.
  3. Place the bowl in a steamer and steam for about 10 minutes or more depending on the size of the fish.
  4. Transfer the fish and its juices on a serving platter, garnish with ginger and onion spring. Pour about 2 tbsp of soy sauce over the fish and sprinkle few drops of sesame oil.
  5. Now here is the Chinese part… Heat oil in a pan until smoking hot.
  6. Drizzle the sizzling oil over the fish. Serve hot with plain rice.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

2 thoughts on “Chinese-Style Steamed Fish in Soy Sauce

  1. Hi Iska! Musta life? I love this dish!
    To make it more sumptuous, garnish with julienned green onions, a little cooking wine and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Pour the hot peanut oil on the fish when it has finally steamed and hear the fish talk. :) btw, I’m back. Term is nearly over. tc.

  2. Hi iska,

    This looks really good, I love steamed fish. I was searching for a fried fish recipe using honey/patis as a sauce (something I tried in Bangkok) but found this. It looks great, think I;ll make this instead. :)

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