Cantonese Steamed Fish (with Pro Tips You Need To Know)

Cantonese Steamed Fish (with Pro Tips You Need To Know)

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Marvellina
Learn how to make Hong Kong style Cantonese steamed fish with silky smooth flesh at home with all the pro tips you wish you know earlier.
Print Recipe


  • 1 large whole fish (I used sea bass) about 450-500 gr
  • 4 stalks white part of the green onion save the green part for other use
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil



  • 2 stalks green onion julienned
  • 3 inch ginger julienned


  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro


Prepare the sauce:

  • Heat sauce ingredient in a small pan and bring to a boil and cook until sugar has dissolved. Remove and set aside

Prepare the fish:

  • Clean fish by rubbing some salt on the skin and inside. This will help to remove fish odor and retain moisture and freshness of the fish when cooked. Rinse off an pat the fish really dry with absorbent paper towel. 
  • Make a few slits on the fish where the flesh is thick

Set up the steamer:

  • I use a wok with a lid. Place a metal trivet on the wok. Pour in some water. Make sure it's enough to steam the fish so we don't have to refill water in the middle of steaming, which will disturb the cooking time. Not too much water too that it boils over the steaming dish. Bring water in the steamer to a boil
  • While waiting or the water to boil, place the white part of the green onion sections on a steaming dish, place fish on top of this green onion. This will help to cook both sides of the fish evenly and prevent the skin from sticking to the plate too

Steaming the fish:

  • Steam fish over high heat for about 12 minutes for 450 gr fish or until cooked through. Heat control is crucial here. If you are using fillet fish, you only need about 8-10 minutes to steam the fish
  • Once 12 minutes is over, turn off the heat but let residual heat to cook the fish for an extra 2 minutes. The fish is done when the eyes pooped out, the mouth is slightly open and the flesh flake easily
  • Remove the fish and pour away the liquid that has pooled on the plate

Dressing the fish:

  • Scatter julienned green onion and ginger on the fish
  • Heat up the cooking oil until really hot and you start seeing smoke started to rise. Remove from the heat and very carefully drizzle this hot oil over the green onions and ginger. You will hear a sizzling sound
  • Drizzle the sauce NOT ON THE FISH, but on the sides of the dish so it won't make the fish and other things soggy
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve immediately