Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to steam a whole fish

Steamed fish

Serves 4      Prep time 10 mins     Cook time 15 mins

  • 1 Tilapia fish (1.5 lbs) gutted and descaled 
  • 2 stalks green onions ( cut into 3" length)
  • 1" ginger root - 1/2" peeled and matchsticked + 1/2" thickly sliced and smashed 
  • 2 stalks cilantro ( cut into 3 " length)
  • 3 tbsp fat ( I used pastured lard ) 
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos
  • himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • Optional: (reintroduction only) sesame oil 
step by step how to steam a whole fish
Prepare steam bath: 
  1. Put steaming wire rack stand inside dutch oven 
  2. Fill with 2-3" high water or 1/2" below top of stand
  3. Bring water to boil
Prepare fish for steaming:
  1. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towel
  2. Chop herbs ( Photo 1 )
  3. Lay fish in an oval dish which fits into dutch oven ( Photo 2 )
  4. Lightly salt inside and out of fish, both sides
  5. Stuff inside of fish with thick sliced ginger pieces and few cuts of green onion ( Photo 3)
  6. Lightly dust outside of fish with tapioca flour
  7. Carefully place dish with fish into rumbling steam bath ( Photo 4 ). Try using these plate retriever tongs. 
  8. Steam for 15 mins or until thickest part of fish easily separates from bones. 
  9. Remove as much fish broth around fish as possible with turkey baster and keep for other uses* The drier you can get the fish, the less oil splatter will happen in the next steps
  10. Melt fat until lightly smoking
  11. Lay remaining chopped herbs onto fish and pour hot oil all over fish and herbs, watch for splatters. ( Photo 5 ) 
  12. Drizzle with coconut aminos ( optional reintroduction only: sesame oil)
  13. To serve I set the oval dish into a slightly larger oval dish as they do in Chinese restaurants ( Photo 6 ) 
* This fish broth is very tasty and so make sure you drink it or save to add into soups. 


  1. This is how my mom makes her fish... so good!

    1. All the time I used to watch my mom cook in the kitchen is paying off.


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