Chinese steamed fish with vegetables

Chinese Steamed Sea Bass

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x


This restaurant style Chinese Steamed Sea Bass is a popular recipe in many Chinese homes for special occasions. Perfect for Chinese New Year.



  • 1 whole sea bass (about 300g/10.5 oz)
  • 6 pak choi bunches
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 spring onions (scallions)
  • 5cm (2 in) long fresh ginger
  • 1 mild red chilli
  • freshly ground white pepper (black will do too)
  • fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped for garnishing
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil


  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry, or 1/2 tsp vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil


  1. Make 3 diagonal slashes on both sides of the fish to help with the cooking.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the fish with half the marinade while you get all the other ingredients ready. Be sure to rub it in between the slashes you made.
  3. Clean and cut the stems off the pak choi, leaving them whole.
  4. Slice the tomatoes.
  5. Thinly slice (julienne) the spring onions, ginger and chilli, as in the pictures.
  6. Decide on the dish that you are going to cook and serve the fish on. It doesn’t matter if the head and tail hang over the edges. Line the dish with the tomatoes, followed by the pak choi.
  7. Place the marinated fish on the vegetables.
  8. Tuck a few ginger strips in the slices you made. Top the fish with half the aromatics – the spring onions, ginger and chilli strips. Keep the rest to top the finished dish with.
  9. Drizzle the rst of the marinade all over the fish and aromatics.
  10. Sprinkle some pepper, then steam the fish for 10 minutes. If you are using a makeshift steamer, the water wants to be simmering, not boiling. Check that the fish is cooked. You can do this by just lifting the meat off the bone with a butter knife or something similar. The meat should be completely opaque. If not done, give it another 2-3 minutes.
  11. Chop up the coriander (cilantro) while waiting for the fish to cook.
  12. When the fish is done, heat the 1 Tbsp of sesame oil in a small frying pan on medium heat. When smoking, quickly fry the rest of the spring onions, ginger and chillies for 10 seconds and pour this aromatic oil all over the fish.
  13. Top with the coriander and serve immediately.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Cuisine: Chinese