Recipe for Life: Steamed Fish

Recipe for Life

Fish may be a “lucky food” served during Chinese New Year celebrations, but Janet Cam’s steamed fish recipe is perfect any time of the year.

Janet shared this recipe on Full Frame’s Recipe for Life segment because she says it reminds her of the steamed fish entree that her father used to prepare when she was a child. 

“I adapted this dish to be cooked in an electric steamer, which allows me time to hang up my coat and review phone messages before the dish is done.  Simple, easy and nourishing,” Janet says. “Also perfect for friends arriving shortly after I return home from work.  No concentration needed!”

Try Janet Cam’s warm and nourishing steamed fish recipe at home.


  • (2) 6 oz firm flesh fish filet (sea bass, cod, halibut etc.)
  • Julienned ginger root, thumb-size nub
  • Julienned scallion, 2-inch pieces of the green stalk 
  • Light soy sauce, enough to drizzle
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • Napa cabbage, to line steamer


Peel and rinse a large leaf of cabbage (may need more than one leaf, depending on size). Line a shallow heat-proof bowl or the equivalent if using an electric steamer.

Place fish filet on top of cabbage leaf. Garnish with half of the julienned ginger and half of the scallions.

Turn electric steamer on for 10 minutes – cooking time will depend on thickness of fish filet. If using a pot with trivet, bring water to a boil and then place shallow bowl with fish onto the trivet and steam until done (flesh should be opaque).

While fish is cooking. Bring peanut oil to almost smoking point. Remove from heat.

Transfer cooked fish to serving dish. Drizzle with soy sauce, garnish with remaining ginger and scallions.

Pour peanut oil over fish. The oil should be hot enough that it sizzles on contact with fish

Serve immediately. Serves two.

Janet suggests these wines for pairing with her steamed fish:

2015       Early Mountain Pinot Gris Block #9, Virginia

NV          Champagne Pol Roger, France