How to Steam Fish: A Quick and Easy Guide – Seaco Online
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How to Steam Fish: A Quick and Easy Guide

Steaming fish is a healthy and easy way to prepare a delicious meal.

Steaming fish is a great way to lock in the nutrients and flavors of the fish, while keeping it moist and tender. Plus, it's a low-fat cooking method that's perfect for those who are watching their waistlines.

A pot of water simmers on a stovetop. A fish fillet hovers above the steam, enclosed in a bamboo steamer

Before you start, make sure you have a steamer basket or a large pot with a steamer insert.

You'll also need a plate or shallow dish to hold the fish, and some aromatics like ginger, garlic, and scallions to add flavor.

When selecting your fish, look for fresh, firm-fleshed fish such as sea bass, bream, or snapper.

To steam your fish, you'll need to prepare it by cleaning and seasoning it with salt and pepper.

Then, you'll need to place it on the plate or dish and add your aromatics.

Once you've done that, you can place it in the steamer basket or insert and steam it for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.

Key Takeaways

  • Steaming fish is a healthy and easy way to prepare a delicious meal.
  • To steam your fish, you'll need a steamer basket or a large pot with a steamer insert, a plate or shallow dish, some aromatics, and fresh, firm-fleshed fish.
  • Steaming your fish for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the fish, will result in a moist and tender dish that's packed with flavor.

Preparing Your Fish

A whole fish lies on a bed of aromatic herbs in a bamboo steamer, surrounded by slices of ginger and lemongrass

Before you start steaming your fish, there are a few things you need to do to prepare it. Here are the steps to follow:

Selecting the Right Fish

First, you need to choose the right fish for steaming.

You can use any kind of thicker fillet such as salmon, cod, sea bass, snapper, tilapia, trout, or flounder.

If you prefer to use a whole fish, make sure to ask your fishmonger for a fresh one.

Cleaning and Seasoning

Once you have your fish, rinse it thoroughly under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Then, season it with salt and pepper to taste.

You can also add some ginger, scallions, or cilantro to enhance the flavour.

Prepping the Steamer

To steam your fish, you will need a steamer.

You can use a bamboo steamer, a steaming rack, or a large pot with a steamer insert.

If you are using a bamboo steamer, make sure to line it with parchment paper or cabbage leaves to prevent the fish from sticking.

Before you start steaming, fill the steamer or pot with enough water to reach just below the steaming rack.

Add some soy sauce, sake, shaoxing wine, or oyster sauce to the water for extra flavour.

Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

The Steaming Process

A pot of water boils on a stovetop. A fish fillet hovers above the steam, enclosed in a transparent pouch

Steaming is a great way to cook fish because it is gentle and retains the fish's delicate flavour and texture. Here are some tips for steaming fish to perfection.

Cooking Time and Techniques

The cooking time for steaming fish depends on the thickness of the fish.

As a general rule, it takes 8 to 10 minutes to steam a fish that weighs 600 to 800g, and 10 to 12 minutes for 800 to 1 kg.

However, the cooking time can vary based on the type, size, and thickness of your fish fillet.

You can check if your fish is cooked by inserting a fork into the thickest part of the fish and seeing if it flakes easily. If it doesn't, steam for a few more minutes.

To steam fish, you can use a bamboo steamer or a heat-proof plate that fits into your steamer.

Before steaming, rub the fish with a little oil and season it with salt and pepper.

You can also add some aromatics like sliced ginger, green onion, or red chilli to the plate to infuse the fish with more flavour.

Finishing Touches

Once the fish is cooked, you can add some finishing touches to make it even more delicious.

One popular technique is to heat up some oil until it is sizzling hot and pour it over the fish. This will create a sizzling sound and give the fish a nice aroma.

You can also add some sesame oil and a soy sauce mixture to the fish to give it a savoury flavour.

To serve, garnish the fish with some scallion and cilantro leaves and serve it with some steamed white rice. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

A pot of water steaming with a fish inside, surrounded by various herbs and spices, with a lid on top

What's the best way to steam a fish in a pan?

Steaming fish in a pan is a simple and healthy way to cook fish.

To steam fish in a pan, you will need a pan with a lid and a steaming rack or basket.

Fill the pan with water, making sure the water level is below the steaming rack or basket.

Bring the water to a boil, then place the fish on the steaming rack or basket.

Cover the pan with a lid and let the fish steam for about 8-10 minutes per 500g of fish.

Can I steam fish in the oven, and if so, how?

Yes, you can steam fish in the oven.

To do so, preheat your oven to 180°C.

Place the fish in a baking dish with a little water, cover the dish with foil, and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

What are some healthy recipes for steaming fish?

Steaming fish is a healthy way to cook fish as it doesn't require any oil or fat.

Some healthy recipes for steaming fish include steamed fish with ginger and scallions, steamed fish with soy sauce and sesame oil, and steamed fish with vegetables.

How long does it take to properly steam a whole fish?

The ideal time for steaming a whole fish depends on the size of the fish.

As a general rule, you should steam a fish for about 8-10 minutes per 500g of fish.

However, the best way to check if the fish is cooked is to insert a fork into the flesh. If the flesh flakes easily, the fish is cooked through.

Which types of fish are most suitable for steaming?

Most types of fish are suitable for steaming, but some of the best types of fish to steam include sea bass, snapper, tilapia, and trout. These types of fish have a delicate flavour and texture that is best preserved through steaming.

Is there a risk of overcooking fish when steaming, and how can I avoid it?

Yes, there is a risk of overcooking fish when steaming.

To avoid overcooking fish, it's important to monitor the fish closely while it's steaming. Start checking the fish for doneness after about 8 minutes of steaming.

If the fish is not yet cooked through, continue steaming for another 2-3 minutes, then check again. Once the fish is cooked through, remove it from the heat to prevent further cooking.