Teochew Steam Fish: A Delicious and Healthy Meal Option – Seaco Online
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Teochew Steam Fish: A Delicious and Healthy Meal Option

If you're a fan of fresh and healthy seafood, then you must try Teochew steamed fish. This dish is a popular representation of Teochew cuisine, which is known for its emphasis on freshness, lightness, and healthiness. Teochew steamed fish is a simple yet flavourful dish that's easy to make at home, and it's perfect for those who want a quick and healthy meal.

A whole fish steaming in a bamboo steamer, surrounded by slices of ginger, scallions, and cilantro, with steam rising from the top

The art of Teochew steamed fish lies in the balance of sourness and saltiness. The dish is typically made with a whole fish, such as pomfret or barramundi, and is steamed with a variety of vegetables, sour plums, and salted vegetables. The result is a delicate and flavourful dish that's perfect for any occasion. Teochew steamed fish is also a great way to showcase the freshness of the fish, as it's cooked in a way that preserves its natural flavour and texture.

If you're interested in trying Teochew steamed fish, there are a few cooking techniques and serving suggestions that you should keep in mind. For example, it's important to choose a fresh fish that's in season, as this will ensure that the dish is as flavourful as possible. Additionally, you can experiment with different vegetables and seasonings to create your own unique version of the dish. Finally, Teochew steamed fish is typically served with steamed rice and a variety of dipping sauces, such as soy sauce, chilli sauce, and ginger sauce.

The Art of Teochew Steamed Fish

A whole fish steaming in a bamboo steamer, surrounded by ginger, scallions, and soy sauce, with steam rising from the hot dish

Selecting the Right Fish

When it comes to Teochew steamed fish, selecting the right fish is crucial. It is recommended to use a whole fish for this dish, preferably fresh and of good quality. Pomfret, barramundi, grouper, seabass, cod, red snapper, trout and threadfin are all great options to choose from.

Essential Ingredients and Seasonings

To make a delicious Teochew steamed fish, you need the right ingredients and seasonings. Ginger, light soy sauce, tomato, mushroom, salted plums, spring onion, coriander, white pepper, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, cooking oil, red chilli, ginger strips, sugar, and sea salt are all commonly used in this dish.

Preparing the Fish

Before steaming the fish, make sure it is cleaned and scaled properly. You can ask your fishmonger to do this for you. Once the fish is ready, add the essential ingredients and seasonings on top of the fish.

Steaming the Fish

Steaming is the best way to cook Teochew steamed fish. Place the fish on a heatproof dish and steam it for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. Once the fish is cooked, garnish it with some spring onions, coriander and red chilli.

Teochew Steamed Fish Recipe

Here's a simple and quick recipe for Teochew steamed fish that you can try at home:


  • 1 whole fish (such as seabass, pomfret, or grouper)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salted plums, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Spring onions and coriander for garnish


  1. Clean and scale the fish.
  2. Place the fish on a heatproof dish.
  3. Add the light soy sauce, tomato, shiitake mushrooms, salted plums, ginger, red chilli, cooking oil, sugar, white pepper, and sea salt on top of the fish.
  4. Steam the fish for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Garnish with spring onions and coriander.

Clean Up

After cooking, make sure to clean up properly. Wash the dishes and utensils used for cooking and wipe down the kitchen counters. Enjoy your delicious Teochew steamed fish!

Cooking Techniques and Serving Suggestions

The Teochew steam fish is placed on a large platter, surrounded by fresh herbs and sliced vegetables. A fragrant steam rises from the dish, adding to the visual appeal

Mastering the Steaming Process

Steaming is a popular cooking technique in Teochew cuisine, and it is the preferred method for cooking Teochew steamed fish. To ensure that your fish is cooked to perfection, it is important to pay close attention to the steaming process. Make sure to use a heat-proof plate that can fit into your steaming setup or wok. Pat dry the fish and give both sides a cut. This will help the fish cook evenly and absorb the flavours of the seasoning.

Once the fish is placed on the plate, arrange the vegetables, tofu, and sour plum around it. Top it with ginger slices and pour the sauce over the fish. Steam the fish for about 13-15 minutes or until it is cooked.

Garnishing and Enhancing Flavours

To enhance the flavours of Teochew steamed fish, garnishing is key. Spring onions, coriander, and scallions are popular garnishes that add a fresh and aromatic touch to the dish. Hot garlic oil is also commonly used to add a spicy kick.

Accompaniments and Side Dishes

Teochew steamed fish is often served with plain white rice or porridge. The gravy from the steamed fish can be poured over the rice or porridge for added flavour.

In addition to rice or porridge, Teochew steamed fish can be accompanied by a variety of side dishes. Cantonese-style steamed fish is often served with soy sauce, ginger, and scallions. However, Teochew-style steamed fish is typically served with preserved mustard, salted vegetables, and pork.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming teochew fish dish surrounded by vibrant vegetables and aromatic herbs, with a bowl of savory sauce on the side

What's the ideal type of fish for steamed dishes?

When it comes to steaming fish, the ideal type of fish is one that is fresh and has a delicate, tender flesh. Some popular choices include pomfret, sea bass, and red snapper.

Can you suggest a traditional Teochew steam fish recipe?

A traditional Teochew steamed fish recipe typically includes salted vegetables, sour plums, and a combination of soy sauce, sugar, and water for the sauce. You can find various recipes online that cater to different preferences and dietary needs.

How many calories are typically in a portion of Teochew steamed fish?

The number of calories in a portion of Teochew steamed fish can vary depending on the type of fish and the ingredients used. On average, a portion of Teochew steamed fish contains around 300-400 calories.

What distinguishes Teochew style steam fish from Cantonese steamed fish?

Teochew style steamed fish is known for its sour and salty flavour, thanks to the use of salted vegetables and sour plums in the recipe. Cantonese steamed fish, on the other hand, typically uses ginger and scallions to flavour the dish.

Is steamed fish considered a healthy meal option?

Yes, steamed fish is considered a healthy meal option as it is low in fat and high in protein. It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health.

Where can I find a good Teochew steam fish restaurant in Singapore?

There are many good Teochew steam fish restaurants in Singapore, including Chao Shan Cuisine, Huat Kee Teochew Restaurant, and Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine. You can also find Teochew steam fish at many hawker centres and food courts across the island.