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The Hirshon Cantonese Steamed Fish – 粤式蒸鱼

  • Total Time: 0 hours


  • 1 spanking-fresh snapper (TFD preference), rock cod, flounder or Chilean sea bass steak – about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, scaled, cleaned and gutted but with head and tail left on (obviously a moot point if you’re using a sea bass steak…)
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh ginger
  • 2 or 3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese fermented black beans, washed several times to remove salt and chopped) (optional though strongly recommended)
  • 1 red fresno or green jalapeno chili, ribs and seeds removed, shredded fine (Optional)
  • 2 scallions, shredded fine
  • Several sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional but recommended – if not using, replace with peanut oil)
  • ***
  • For the sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine or rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 dashes white pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rock sugar (grind into powder form) or to taste
  • Several sprigs of fresh coriander for garnish
  • Shredded scallion for garnish


  1. Rinse and dry the fish with paper towels.
  2. Place the fish on an oblong heatproof serving platter – if necessary, you may need to cut the end of the tail off to have the fish fit in the steamer. Pour the rice wine over the fish.
  3. Sprinkle on ½ the ginger, ½ the scallions, ½ the garlic, and ½ the cilantro. Be sure and tuck some greenery and seasonings into the body of the fish, unless its a flounder (in which case there’s no cavity – it’s flat!).
  4. Bring at least 2 inches of water to a boil in a steamer large enough to accommodate the serving platter (a large roasting pan with cover can be used). Place the platter with the fish on a rack in the steamer. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes or so.
  5. Remove the fish from the steamer, discard steaming liquid that has accumulated on the tray with the fish and any steamed aromatics.
  6. Several minutes before the fish is ready, heat a small skillet until hot and add the oils. Garnish the fish with the remaining scallions, garlic, ginger and coriander plus the hot pepper and chopped black beans.
  7. When the oils are near smoking, pour it over the fish and garnishes. Stand back as you pour, since the hot oil may splatter.
  8. Put the skillet back onto the stove, add the soy sauce mixture and stir well. As soon as the sauce bubbles up and boils, pour the soy sauce over the fish.
  9. Serve immediately with white rice and be sure and partake of the sauce with the fish meat and rice both.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours


  • Calories: 429.99 kcal
  • Sugar: 7.14 g
  • Sodium: 794.14 mg
  • Fat: 29.19 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.46 g
  • Trans Fat: 1.05 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.74 g
  • Fiber: 1.05 g
  • Protein: 25.64 g
  • Cholesterol: 71.45 mg