About Steamed Fish with Ginger and Scallions

Hi there. It's me. Sorry I left you hanging for a few weeks; we had our annual Super Bowl party at the house and ended up eating leftover dip for, like, ever. You know, as you do. But I'm back now with what is possibly my single-favorite entree ever, my mother's steamed fish. This isn't strictly speaking a Vietnamese dish, as I'm only half Vietnamese and I've taken one or two tiny liberties with the recipe over the years, but I think you'll agree it's super easy. But please note, you'll need some kind of steaming apparatus to make this work; I don't care what kind, just some set up that allows you to trap steam and then harness that steam to cook your dinner. This dish is totes Industrial Revolution, yo.

Here are the ingredients::

Any fish in any cut will do, whether it be whole trout or salmon steaks or tilapia filets, which is what I used here.

Soy sauce
Which you will add to the

Chicken broth
in equal parts. And what parts is that? Well, we'll get to that in a sec.

Cut your scallions into about inch-sized rods. (Heh, I said rods.) And how many scallions should you cut up? Oh, I'd say about one bunch for every two servings. As the scallions cook they end up soaking up that broth you just made up there, mellowing out, and getting dang tasty.

Fresh ginger
Peeled, then cut up into little inch-sized matchsticks. And how much ginger should you cut up? Oh, I'd say about a thumb-sized knob for every two servings. As the ginger cooks it ends up soaking up that broth you just made up there, mellowing out, and getting dang tasty.

Some sort of pepper if you want
Like serrano or thai chilis or jalapeno like I used here. You know, for a touch of heat.

Some kind of oil if you want
Like peanut or sesame or canola like I used here. You only need like a tablespoon or so, and only to give the dish a bit of richness.

Got it? Well, here's what you should do with all that: Put your fish in a heavy, heat-proof bowl--something that can stand a good steaming. Throw the scallions, ginger, and pepper on top of that. Then add enough soy/broth until the liquid is barely covering your fish. Finally, swirl a little oil on top.

Slap on a lid, bring your pot of water to a rolling boil, and let that steam until the fish is done.

And when is your fish done? Depends on how thick your fish is. These tilapia filets only took about 12 minutes, but then again, these tilapia filets were only about a quarter-inch thick. So add extra time accordingly.

It is absolutely essential that you serve this over (preferably jasmine) rice, because all that broth in there is so freaking good. So put some rice on a plate, carefully (that bowl is hot!) top it with the fish, spoon out like a shit ton of broth and scallions and ginger, and maybe top with a bit of fresh cilantro if you want.

And if you want a lot of extra heat this pairs well with sambal. I promise it tastes better than it looks.


  1. I'll definitely be doing this soon. I've been meaning to buy a steamer for a long time now. I need a better way to make fish, because baking has never really worked for me (always ends up dry) and grilling fish is just a big wildcard.

  2. Steaming is pretty fool-proof. I highly recommend.

  3. I never thought of steaming fish. I'm going to do this, as it sounds easy enough for a cooking simpleton like me. So far I haven't progressed very far beyond broiling salmon with some butter and lemon juice and I really want some different ways to cook my fish.

  4. If husband is allergic to ginger, will garlic and maybe bamboo or hearts of palm substitute for it, do you think?

  5. Hmm... garlic would probably work, but I'm not sure about bamboo or hearts of palm; you want something pretty pungent to stand up to all the abuse of steaming.

  6. Good call. I'll steam the garlic, and maybe I'll add the bamboo with the cilantro, just before serving. Looks waaaaaaay to yummy to not at least try!

  7. *too*

    Dang. I hate when I'm too excited to proofread.

  8. THIS IS DELICIOUS, Y'ALL. And when I say "DELICIOUS", what I mean is "OMG I may never eat anything else for as long as I live!" Even the 9 y.o. at it, although he pushed the scallions aside. ;)