Chinese Ginger-Soy Steamed Fish

Ginger soy steamed fish recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
348 Calories
22g Fat
3g Carbs
33g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 348
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 632mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 33g
Calcium 42mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Chinese ginger-soy steamed fish comes from cookbook author Farina Kingsley with permission of Aimee Bianca, YC Media. Kingsley says steaming is a popular Cantonese culinary technique that produces delicious, healthy, and moist foods. It is an especially great way to cook fish.

If you don't have a wok, don't fret; you can steam the fish on a rack in a deep pan that has a lid or in a lidded steamer basket.

This steaming technique can be applied to whole fish, not just to fillets as done here. Some dishes, like Chinese pot stickers or dumplings, use a combination of cooking techniques—steaming and pan-frying.

This recipe's sauce uses both light and dark soy sauces.


  • For the Fish:
  • 4 (6-ounce) sea bass or halibut fillets
  • 1/4 cup green onions (white parts only, finely sliced on the bias)
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (sliced into fine slivers)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon light ​soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ​dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ​toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this ginger-soy steamed fish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for cooking.

Prepare the Steamer

  1. Place a steaming rack in a wok or a deep pan and fill the pan with 2 inches of water. The water level should be below the steaming rack.

    Basket in wok
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sauce
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, 3 tablespoons canola oil, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and white pepper.

    Whisk sauce
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prepare the Fish

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for ginger soy steamed fish
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Place the fish fillets on a heatproof plate suitable for steaming and large enough to hold the fillets in a single layer. Spoon some of the sauce evenly over the fish fillets.

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Place the plate of fish on the steaming rack, cover tightly, and steam the fish over high heat for 7 to 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish.

    Place in pan
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Carefully remove the plate from the steamer and transfer the fillets to a warmed platter and spoon the rest of the sauce over the fish.

    Remove onto a plate
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Serve the Fish

  1. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a small pan until near smoking.

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Place the green onions and cilantro on top of the fish fillets, and carefully drizzle the hot oil over the fish.

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Serve immediately.

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