Cantonese Steamed Fish served on a big platter.

Cantonese Steamed Fish

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: steamed fish, whole fish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Nami

Juicy succulent white steamed fish with soy sauce served with shiitake mushroom, green onion, and tomato slices. It's a classic Cantonese way to prepare fresh whole fish.



  • 1 whole red snapper (1 lb 12 oz or 800 g) (You can also use sea bream, sea bass or any other white-flesh fish; scaled and gutted by your fishmonger)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms (30 g) (or porcini or Chinese mushrooms)
  • ½ inch ginger (1 cm)
  • 2 green onions/scallions



  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Cantonese Steamed Fish Ingredients
  2. Soak dried mushrooms. Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover and soak 20 to 25 minutes until soft. Strain the liquid into another bowl, if using, squeezing any excess liquid from the mushrooms. Cut off the steams and discard. Slice the mushrooms.
    Cantonese Steamed Fish 1
  3. Slice the tomato, cut green onions into matchsticks, and peel ginger and cut into fine matchsticks.
    Cantonese Steamed Fish 2
  4. Rinse the fish inside and out under running cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Using a sharp knife, make three diagonal slits on both sides of the fish.
    Cantonese Steamed Fish 3
  5. Arrange the tomato on the base of a heatproof platter that will fit inside a wok. Lay the fish on top.
    Cantonese Steamed Fish 4
  6. Mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and rice wine in a small bowl and season with pepper.
    Cantonese Steamed Fish 5
  7. Pour the sauce over the fish and sprinkle over the mushrooms and ginger. Cover with saran wrap and leave to marinate in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
    Cantonese Steamed Fish 6
  8. Place several round cookie cutters or a wire cooling rack with legs at least 2.5cm/1in tall inside a wok. Leaving a minimum gap of 1/2in (1 cm) below the steamer, add water to the wok and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Below was my creative setting as cookie cutters were too low for my plate to be supported.
    Cantonese Steamed Fish 7
  9. Set the heatproof plate with the fish on the rack and steam, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the flesh separates from the bone easily and looks opaque when a fork is inserted.
    Cantonese Steamed Fish 8
  10. Keep an eye on the level of the water, adding more boiling water if necessary. Two minutes before the end of cooking, sprinkle over the spring onions. Serve immediately with boiled rice.

Recipe Notes

Recipe is from "entire book title" by Leemei Tan.

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