Steamed Sea Bass Chinese Style

Sage The Steam Zone Steamed Whole Sea Bass
Steamed Whole Sea Bass in the Steam Zone

Steamed fish is a very popular home cooking dish in Chinese families. We like to be able to taste the clean flavour of the fish and enjoy the texture of the meat that you get from steaming the fish. We tend to steam white fish like pomfret, grouper, sea bass or sea bream. Oily fish don’t work out as well.

This is the most common recipe for steaming fish. There are quite a few variations that you can try like adding dried sour plum and salted vegetables ( Chiu Chow style), adding a sauce made with fish sauce, chopped garlic, lemongrass, bird eye chilli ( Thai Style).

Cooking fish this way is quick and healthy. It is very low fat and it would work for anyone on a low carb diet too. Just add some vegetables to the fish as you steam it and you will have a complete meal.

At home, we like to serve steamed fish with as part of a meal with a few other dishes and served with steamed white rice.

I cooked this fish in my new Sage Steam Zone stainless steel steamer. You can read the review here. It worked really well, cooked the fish quite quickly and the large tray even managed to fit this enormous Sea Bass.

Sage by Heston lumenthal The Steam Zone electric Steamer
The Steam Zone electric Steamer

Steamed Sea Bass Chinese Style

We love to steam fish and it is customary to serve steamed fish whole. It is a custom to have both the head and the tail as this signifies completion, having a beginning and an end. 
This recipe is versatile as you can use any other fresh fish available where you are and in season. 
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 as part of a multi dish meal
Author: May


  • 1 Sea Bass or Sea Bream
  • Spring Onions
  • Ginger
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • fresh coriander


  • Get your fishmonger to clean and scale your fish.
  • Wash the fish thoroughly, inside and out
  • Rub some salt on the skin and in the cavity
  • Cut a few diagonal slits in the body of the fish.
  • Julienne the spring onions, both the green and white parts
  • Peel and cut the ginger into matchsticks.
  • Sprinkle the spring onion and ginger on the fish 
  • Layer half of the spring onions, coriander or lettuce on the long Steam Zone steaming tray, to prevent the fish from sticking. 
  • Place the whole fish in the long steamer tray. Add water to the water tray until it hits the max level in the window.
  • Close the lid and set the timer for 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your fish) and cook on high. 
  • The machine will beep when the fish is done.  
  • Make the sauce while the fish is cooking. Add a few tablespoons of soy sauce and sugar to a saucepan and heat on medium until the sugar has melted. In another small pan, heat the oil just as the fish is done. 
  • To serve, transfer the fish to a serving dish. Layer the remaining spring onions on top. 
  • Pour over the sauce and the boiling hot oil. Garnish with fresh coriander. 
  • Serve with steamed rice as part of a multi dish meal. 


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