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Thai Steamed Fish: A Delicious and Healthy Meal Option

If you're looking for a healthy and delicious way to enjoy fish, Thai steamed fish is a great option. This dish is a popular part of Thai cuisine, and it's easy to see why.

With its fresh and zesty flavours, it's the perfect way to enjoy fish without adding too many calories.

To make Thai steamed fish, you'll need to start with a fresh fish. This can be any type of white fish, such as sea bass or snapper.

The fish is then steamed with a variety of ingredients, including lime, garlic, and lemongrass.

The result is a light and flavourful dish that's perfect for a healthy lunch or dinner.

If you're new to Thai cuisine, you might have some questions about how to prepare and serve Thai steamed fish. Don't worry, we've got you covered.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at this delicious dish and provide you with all the information you need to make it at home.

From ingredients to preparation to cooking and serving, we'll cover everything you need to know. So let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Thai steamed fish is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy fish.
  • The dish is made with fresh fish, lime, garlic, and lemongrass.
  • This article will provide you with all the information you need to make Thai steamed fish at home.

Ingredients and Preparation

A whole fish sits on a bed of aromatic herbs and spices in a bamboo steamer, ready to be cooked to perfection

Selecting the Fish

When it comes to Thai steamed fish, the type of fish you choose is crucial to the success of the dish. You want a fish that's firm, has a mild flavour, and is able to hold up to steaming.

Popular choices include barramundi, tilapia, snapper, cod, sea bass, grouper, and halibut. Look for fresh fish at your local market or fishmonger.

Essential Thai Ingredients

To make the perfect Thai steamed fish, you'll need a few essential Thai ingredients.

These include lime, garlic, lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, palm sugar, salt, and chili.

Thai chili is the traditional choice, but you can also use other varieties of chili to adjust the level of spiciness to your liking.

Coriander and Chinese celery are also commonly used to add flavour and aroma to the dish.

Preparing the Fish

To prepare the fish for steaming, you'll need to gut and scale it first. Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Make a few diagonal cuts on both sides of the fish to allow the marinade to penetrate.

Rub the fish with salt and place it on a heatproof dish.

Next, prepare the marinade by mixing fresh lime juice, chopped garlic, chopped lemongrass, fish sauce, and sugar in a bowl.

Pour the marinade over the fish, making sure it covers the entire surface of the fish.

Top the fish with sliced chili, coriander leaves, and Chinese celery.

Finally, steam the fish for about 10-15 minutes, or until the flesh is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

Serve the fish hot with steamed rice and a side of spicy lime and garlic sauce. Enjoy!

Cooking and Serving

A steaming basket filled with Thai steamed fish, surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices. A serving platter and utensils nearby

Steaming the Fish

To cook Thai steamed fish, you will need a steamer. If you don't have a steamer, you can use a large pot with a rack or a bamboo steamer.

Once you have your steamer, prepare your fish by cleaning and gutting it. Make diagonal incisions on both sides of the fish to help it cook evenly and allow the flavours to penetrate the flesh.

Fill the steamer with boiling water and place the fish on a plate or a steaming basket.

Steam the fish for 8-10 minutes or until the flesh is firm and flaky.

Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become tough and dry.

Making the Sauce

The sauce is an essential component of Thai steamed fish. It should be sour, spicy, sweet, and salty, with a balance of flavours that complement the fish.

To make the sauce, mix together freshly squeezed lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar, garlic, and Thai chili.

Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more sugar for sweetness, lime juice for sourness, or chili for spiciness.

Presentation and Serving Suggestions

To serve Thai steamed fish, transfer it to a serving plate or a platter. Garnish with coriander, Chinese celery, and sliced chili.

The aroma of the herbs will enhance the flavour of the fish and add a fresh touch to the dish.

Thai steamed fish is typically served as a main course with steamed jasmine rice or plain steamed rice.

The rice helps to balance the flavours of the fish and the sauce. You can also serve it with a side of stir-fried vegetables or a salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming bamboo basket filled with whole fish, surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices, with a side of tangy dipping sauce

What's the ideal type of fish for steaming to get that Thai flavour?

The ideal fish for steaming to get that Thai flavour is a white fish with delicate flesh. Some examples of fish that work well include sea bass, snapper, and tilapia.

You want to choose a fish that is fresh and has a mild flavour, so it can absorb the flavours of the aromatics and seasonings used in the dish.

How do you infuse lemongrass and ginger into steamed fish?

To infuse lemongrass and ginger into steamed fish, you can add them to the cavity of the fish before steaming.

Simply slice the lemongrass and ginger into thin strips and stuff them inside the fish. This will allow the flavours to infuse into the fish as it steams.

Can you steam fish in a banana leaf, and how does it affect the taste?

Yes, you can steam fish in a banana leaf, and it can add a unique flavour to the dish.

The banana leaf imparts a slightly sweet and earthy flavour to the fish, which complements the other flavours in the dish.

To steam fish in a banana leaf, wrap the fish in the leaf and tie it with string before steaming.

What's the traditional way to prepare Thai steamed fish?

The traditional way to prepare Thai steamed fish is to use a whole fish, stuffed with aromatics such as lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaves.

The fish is then steamed until cooked through and served with a sauce made from lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chillies.

Are there any health benefits to eating steamed fish, particularly Thai style?

Yes, there are many health benefits to eating steamed fish, particularly Thai style.

Steaming is a healthy cooking method that preserves the nutrients in the fish.

Fish is also a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.

How long should you typically steam a fish to perfection?

The cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of the fish.

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

To check if the fish is cooked through, use a fork to gently pull the flesh away from the bone.

If it flakes easily and is opaque all the way through, it's done.