This delicious Chinese Steamed Fish Recipe is cooked with ease in the KitchenAid Smart Oven + with Powered Attachments, using the steamer attachment and is topped off with fresh julienne vegetables and a sweetened soy sauce.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KitchenAid. The opinions and text are all mine.
It’s my guess that most folks who eat Chinese steamed fish don’t actually make it at home. Making it at home means having a large steamer with extremely accurate temperature, not something historically someone could find with ease.
If the steamer is hot, the fish gets overcooked to quick, not hot enough, you’ll end up waiting your life away wondering if it is cooked through enough for you to eat.
Before this amazing innovation, owning a steamer was total luxury, but now with the KitchenAid Smart Oven+ and its amazing assortment of attachments, it is easy and accessible for you to take your culinary game to the next level.
Selecting Your Fish for Steaming
Most people who purchase fresh seafood usually pick up a fish fillet.
When it comes to cooking a whole fish, you have more to pay attention to. If you’ve never purchased a whole fish, here are a few tips:
- Make sure the eye on the fish is bulging out and not sunken in.
- Touch the scales or flesh to make sure they are not slimy in any way.
- Fresh fish, especially ones with head-on should have a lightly sweet scent with no fishy smell at all.
- Once you’ve picked your fish, check if the fishmonger can de-bone the fish for you.
These rules apply no matter what fish you use for a Chinese steamed fish recipe. Since it’s one of my favorite all-time fish and the skin is absolutely delicious when cooked, I’m using Yellow Snapper.
Yellow snapper is a light flaky white fish that has a really light flavor and is absolutely delicious. It can be used in a myriad of different recipes from en papillote to pan-seared and served up in some tacos.
For this recipe, you can absolutely use other fish, such as cod, bass, pompano, or any other flaky fish.
Before you cook the fish, season the outside and inside of the fish with sea salt and cracked pepper. In addition to the salt and pepper, I like to add in some citrus slices to the inside of the fish, such as lime or lemon! The citrus from the lemon or lime will cut the soy sauce and really enhance the flavor.
Steaming the Fish
The ease of use and culinary ingenuity of the steamer attachment on the KitchenAid Smart Oven+ is an absolute delight to set up and cook on.
To set up the steamer attachment, you simply place it on the base heating and connect it to the hub. The oven will make a light sound to indicate a proper connection, so you know you’re set up and ready to go. From there, pour some water into the bottom of the pan, then place the perforated insert right over the top.
Since fish loves to stick to any surface no matter what you’re cooking, (yes, even pan searing), it is wise to lay down savoy cabbage leaves or even banana leaves onto the perforated pan. The cabbage leaves are penetrable and will absolutely allow for the steam to encompass every square millimeter of the fish.
Simply set your fish right onto the cabbage leaves, place the lid over the pan and slide it right into the hub. Set your Smart Oven+ to ‘steam’ and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Steaming cooks, the fish from every angle, which makes it cook rather quickly but be careful, l because you don’t want to overcook the fish. In the words of Chef Francis Mallman, “An overcooked fish is a very sad fish,” and I could not agree more.
Chinese Steamed Vegetables With Rice
While the fish is steaming, this is a great time to cut up your veggies and make your sauce.
As far as vegetables are concerned, this part is up to you, based on your preferences. If you like squash or zucchini, or peppers, or mushrooms, then you should absolutely use them. You’re only limited by your own creativity, so when it comes to something like this, I usually like to find out what’s on sale and use what’s in season.
I typically use a simple combination of bell peppers, onions, cilantro, and cucumbers. It’s a really light topping that marries really well with the fish and provides incredibly refreshing flavor.
The sauce for the steamed fish is this all-encompassing umami flavor featuring ginger, garlic, green onions, soy and fish sauce. It’s simple to make and incredibly delicious.
Serving Chinese Steamed Fish
Gently remove the fish from the cabbage leaves, taking care that the fish does not break apart, and place it directly onto your serving plate. Top the fish off with the julienne vegetables and sauce and you, my friend, are in business.
Chinese Steamed Fish Recipe
- 1 fresh whole head on Yellow Snapper
- 1 thinly sliced lemon
- 1 seeded julienne red bell pepper
- 1 seeded julienne yellow bell pepper
- 1/4 peeled thinly sliced red onion
- 3/4 cup julienned green onions
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 each finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Place the steamer attachment into the KitchenAid Smart Oven+ with Powered Attachments and fill it to the line with water. Place in the perforated pan and place a few savoy cabbage leaves down. Place on the lid and heat until it begins to steam.
- Season the inside and outside of the fish with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity of the fish with lemon slices.
- Once the steamer is steaming sliced the fish onto the cabbage, place on the lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.
- While the fish is cooking add the ginger, garlic, soy, rice wine, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar to a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- When the fish is done cooking, remove it from the steamer and place on a serving platter. Garnish with peppers, onions, green onions, cucumber, cilantro, and sauce.