Chinese Steamed Whole Fish

Chris Jay
Chris Jay
January 18, 2023
One of my favourite dishes to eat during Lunar New Year is a whole steamed fish with soy, ginger, scallions, and cilantro, finished with hot oil poured over the top. The slightly sweet sauce complements without overwhelming the fish. A final dousing in hot oil lightly crisps the skin and sends the fragrance of the aromatics throughout the dining room. Steaming the fish in the Anova Precision Oven means less time waiting for a pot of water to heat up and no extra dishes. I like to use 220°F (104°C) with 100% steam to cook the fish quickly while still retaining tons of moisture. Steaming the fish directly on the oven rack ensures that the oven’s rear heat is evenly distributed on both sides. Just be sure to place a sheet tray on a rack below the fish to catch any excess juices. Tip: A great way to tell if your fish is fully cooked is if a chopstick can poke through the thickest part of the fish without any resistance.
Prep Time
Cook Time
5 (4)
1 (1½-lb)
rock fish or snapper, scaled, guts and fins removed
¼ cup
light soy sauce
1 Tbsp
Shaoxing wine
1 tsp
granulated sugar
½ tsp
fine salt
1 (2-inch) piece
fresh ginger, julienned
scallions, julienned, with white and green parts separated
½ cup
whole fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup
corn oil

1. Preheat the Oven

Place the racks in the 2nd and 4th positions and place a sheet pan on the 2nd rack.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 220°F
Heat: Rear

2. Prepare Fish

Run a sharp knife along both sides of the spine of the fish about ½ inch deep to separate the flesh from the carcass. (This will help cook the fish evenly.)
Prepare Fish

3. Steam Fish

Transfer to the 4th rack of the oven and steam until a chopstick can poke into the thickest part of the fish without any resistance, 11 to 14 minutes.
Steam Fish
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 220°F
Heat: Rear
00:11 Timer

4. Make Sauce

While the fish is steaming, combine the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, salt, ginger, and the white part of the scallions in a small pot. Bring the soy mixture up to a simmer, then turn down the heat to the lowest setting to keep warm.
Make Sauce

5. Plate Fish

Once the fish is cooked, carefully transfer it onto a serving platter. Pour the soy mixture over the fish and top it with the remaining scallions and cilantro.
Plate Fish

6. Heat Oil

In a small pot, heat up the oil to 370°F (188°C) or just until it starts to smoke. Pour it over the fish on top of the green onions and cilantro.
Heat Oil

7. Serve

Serve immediately with rice.
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