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Teochew Steamed Fish

by Kelly
Teochew Steamed Fish

I love refreshing dishes that leave you feeling healthier after the meal, and this Teochew Steamed Fish is one of those! Teochew cuisine stands out for its simplicity, balance, and reverence for fresh ingredients, and this dish certainly relies on the fresh ingredients to give it its signature combination of sour, savory and sweet flavor, with hardly any sauces added to the mix!

I’m using a grouper for this dish, but you can use any white flaky fish, which will turn tender after steaming. The medley of ingredients each bring its own unique flavor to the dish:

  1. Preserved Vegetables: These tangy, umami-packed morsels add depth to the dish with a briny character.
  2. Pickled Plums: A burst of sweet and sour, pickled plums awaken the taste buds.
  3. Shiitake Mushrooms: Sliced shiitake mushrooms contribute an earthy aroma and a hint of umami.
  4. Tomato Wedges: Vibrant and juicy, tomato wedges provide a refreshing contrast with their acidity.
  5. Ginger: Julienned ginger adds warmth and a gentle kick.
  6. Silken Tofu: Cubes of silken tofu bring a delicate texture.
  7. Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves and their herbal brightness ties everything together.

In Teochew households, steaming is a commonly used to transforms raw ingredients into a harmonious whole. The rising steam coaxes out the fish’s essence, infusing it with the essence of ginger, preserved vegetables, and pickled plums. Then we add just a sprinkle of liquids to the sauce:

  1. Light Soy Sauce: A dash of soy sauce adds depth and saltiness.
  2. Sesame Oil: A few drops of fragrant sesame oil elevate the dish with its nutty aroma.
  3. Water: Just to tweak the sauce’s density.

Garnished with fresh coriander, the Teochew Steamed Fish emerges from the steamer with its flavors melded, its textures harmonized, ready to be served alongside steamed rice to savor the delicate symphony—the sweet, the savory, the umami, and the herbal—all in one dish. So let’s get to it!

Watch How To Make It

Teochew Steamed Fish

Teochew Steamed Fish is a healthy and appetizing dish that relies on the natural flavors of fresh ingredients for a sour, savory and sweet combination!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: dinner, easy recipe, lunch, quick, seafood, steamer
Servings: 2


  • Steamer


  • any white fish (I used a 400g grouper)
  • some preserved vegetables
  • 3 pickled plums
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tomato cut into wedges
  • 1 inch ginger julienned
  • 15 g silken tofu sliced into cubes
  • some coriander
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp water


  • Prepare the ingredients, then score the fish a few times.
  • Put the fish on a plate, then place all the ingredients around and on top of the fish.
  • Prepare the steamer with boiling water, before placing in the fish and adding light soy sauce, sesame oil and water.
  • Steam on high heat for about 10 minutes until it's done, then garnish with coriander and serve!

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