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Easy Steamed Fish

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Easy Steamed Fish
Easy steamed fish (清蒸鱼)

I learnt this super easy way of cooking steamed fish from my mum and to me, this dish is perfect in every way.

Perfect because … this dish cost about S$4 (cheap!), 10 minutes to prepare (easy!) and 10 minutes to cook (fast!). It’s super healthy, and no messy clean ups later. It has all my favourite tastes (salty/spicy/tangy) as well as favourite food ingredients like ginger, spring onions, mushrooms, chili, tomato and sour plums. I lick up every last drop of the water that comes from steaming the fish… so satisfying! =D

This is so easy that you can whip this up when you’re cooking for one person too. Simply cook some rice (or porridge) while you are steaming the fish and you have a healthy, delicious home cooked meal in no time. To me, this certainly beats eating crappy & unhealthy food court meals for around the same price ;p

Salted Plums
My bottle of salted plums

Easy Steamed Fish

Note: If you like a recipe for steaming a whole fish, check out my Teochew steamed fish recipe.

(Serves 1-2)
Note: If cooking for more, just use a bigger piece of fish and add more of the other ingredients accordingly to fill the plate.

– 1 small cut of fish (about 150g onwards)
– 1 thick stalk spring onions, cut to 2 inch lengths
– 5 slices ginger, sliced thinly
– 1 chilli padi, sliced thinly (adjust or omit to your liking)
– 1/2 to 1 tomato, cut to small wedges
– 2 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
– 1 sour plum (aka salted plum)
– 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
– 2 tbsp water (or more if you like more “soup”)


1. Place fish (skin side down) in a deep plate. Drizzle light soy sauce and water over the fish. Keep in fridge (covered) for at least 30 minutes if you can.
2. Scatter the rest of the ingredients evenly over the fish.
3. Steam on high heat for 10-15 minutes (note: for the small piece I had, it is cooked after 10 minutes of steaming).

Steamed Fish (clean plate!)
Clean plate, a sign of satisfaction (or greed?)

Leave a Comment

60 Responses to “Easy Steamed Fish”

  1. wiffy — March 6, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

    Hi PinkyMehan and Linty, thank you so much for your kind words and feedback. Glad both of you liked the recipe, it makes me happy to hear that :)


  2. modgurl — August 31, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    What’s sour plum? Can I use the paste version?


    • wiffy replied: — September 1st, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

      It’s the brown ball looking thing (see photos). It’s usually sold in a jar with preserved liquids and commonly used for steaming fish. I’m not sure about the paste, I’ve not tried those before.


  3. daddycook — November 3, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

    Guys – hope it will help everyone looking for the sour plums. It is called Shatow sour plums – come in a small jar. U can get it at the provision shop.
    Normally , they used it in teochew style steam fish. For the cantonese ie Hk style, no sour plum is used. Only light soya sauce


  4. Min — January 23, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

    hi, where can i get sour plum? issit in bottled form?


    • wiffy replied: — January 23rd, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

      Hi Min, it’s usually also labelled as “salted plums”. Yes the plums are soaked in liquid, usually in a glass bottle. I got mine from NTUC.


  5. Jadey — October 31, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    What types of fish is recommended for steaming then besides white pomfret?


    • wiffy replied: — November 1st, 2010 @ 10:02 am

      Hi Jadey, you can use any type of preferred fresh fish such as silver pomfret and grouper :)


  6. nicole — December 26, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

    nice! really! my sister and I were fighting over the fish. I guess the plums really made a difference.


  7. nad — May 24, 2011 @ 10:57 am


    I’m making this today! Thanks for the recipe!

    I would like to know what else I can do with the salted plums. I intend to get the same bottle of salted plums but I’m not sure what to do with the rest of the plums. I prepare steamed fish at least once a week but I normally use a slightly different recipe.


  8. lela — June 19, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    tQ ..i always want to know how cook the simplest steam fish…ie chinese cooking…


  9. Jadey — June 19, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    Just drop by to share alternatively if u preferred crunchy vegetables; can replace the salted sour plum with preserved salted vegetables (can be found in small packet form in most supermarkets) as a topping with the red chilli and mushrooms :)


  10. Michelle — August 28, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    Hi, I chanced upon your food blog a few weeks ago n I must say I really like your fuss-free style…cos I’m the same. You inspired me to try out steamed fish…my dad is Cantonese while mom is Teochew which means steamed fish is often served…. I never had the courage to do it myself as it seemed an art…
    But today, I plucked enuf courage n did it! I bought 4 slices of red snapper ($12) and this is what I did….sliced ginger beneath each fish slice, added minced garlic n chai po (salted radish) on top of the fish…then drizzled sesame oil on fish slices n pan…added a bit of water…then steamed for 7 mins…my family loved it…. Thanks again for giving me the courage to cook what I once Thot was insurmountable I will remain a fan of ur recipes….


    • wiffy replied: — August 31st, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

      love your personal touches to this dish with the chai po and sesame oil … u r good! I shall try it your way too. thanks for your kind words :)