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  • Writer's pictureTina Brand

Cantonese style steamed fish

Here's an incredibly simple recipe to try. Make it your own with versions including coriander root, green chillies and lime for a Thai style flavour.


  • 2 pieces white fish fillets (red emperor, blue eyed cod, barramundi)

  • 4 stalks spring onions

  • 4-6 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked till soft in hot water.

  • 1 generous tablespoon finely sliced fresh ginger

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 red chilli

  • salt and cracked back pepper

  • Chopped coriander to garnish.


  1. Pat the fish fillets dry, brush with a little sesame oil, and season well with salt and cracked black pepper.

  2. Cut the white part of the spring onion stalks into sections, about the length of your little finger. Slice fine lengthways so the spring onion pieces are a fine julienne.

  3. Slice the softened shiitake mushrooms fine, set aside. Save the mushroom soaking water.

  4. Slice the red chilli fine and set aside.

  5. Place the fish pieces on an oiled plate, arranging the mushroom slices around the fish.

  6. Put the plate of fish into a bamboo steamer, and the steamer in a saucepan or wok of water. Set a timer to steam gently for 20 minutes with a well fitted lid.

  7. While the fish is steaming, heat a small saucepan, with sesame oil.

  8. Add the spring onion, chilli, and ginger.

  9. As the ginger turns golden and the chilli slices soften, add the cooking wine, sugar, white pepper, a tablespoon or two of the saved mushroom water and soy. Bring to a very gentle bubble, stir till the sugar is melted and turn off the heat.

  10. Place the steamed fish into a shallow serving bowl, and pour the warm sauce over the fish.

  11. Garnish with chopped coriander.

  12. Serve with steamed white rice and green veggies.

  13. Serves two.


To give this dish a Thai flavour, finely dice three to four fresh kaffir lime leaves, crush and finely chop two fresh coriander roots and add to the sauce with the juice of half a lime.

I add accompanying veggies to the steaming fish midway through the cooking time to serve with the meal.


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