23 Jul 2013

Steamed Fish with Soysauce & Ginger

Here's the thing, le boyfriend has been asking me to cook something that has to do with fish for a long time. He said people from Makassar has a thing for seafood, and he is one of them. I don't know if it's true or not but he surely convinced me how much he loves seafood.

One day, he had this idea of eating a very delicate fish dish like the ones that you have in Chinese restaurant.
He insisted that its called boiled fish.
Boiled? fish?
I scratched my head numerous times trying to figure out how in the world is it possible to boil a fish?
Speaking about the possibility of boiling a fish, of course it's possible.
But wouldn't that make the fish all tore apart in the broth?
I'm not sure if boiling and poaching is the same thing or not, all I know is that we CAN poach fish.
Because we do have an Indonesian word for boil, which is "rebus" and we don't have an Indonesian word for poach.. Is it the same technique or not when it comes to fish? I don't know.

So I retrieved to a safe decision and made steamed fish instead.
This is -to be honest- my first time ever making a fish dish that's quiet successful.
I have tried to make a Fish en Papillote (fish in a parcel) using Rachel Khoo's recipe but I'm not really fond of the taste.
I used trout just like what the recipe told me, but oh boy the end dish was very fishy and bland tasting.
Don't get me wrong, I adore Rachel Khoo. Maybe it's just my noob palette, not used to the very clean tasting French dishes.
I have a more Asian palette that is used to bold flavours.
Or maybe it's just the fish that's wrong..
I have never tried trout before and I didn't know that its really oily and I just didn't expect to get that kind of flavour..
Or maybe the fish wasn't fresh?
Whatever the problem is, I want to give it a go again later in the future!

Back to the dish that I made, le boyfriend loved the dish so much, he even raved about it.
And surprisingly, it requires so little cooking, I don't even feel like taking all the credit for it.
And if I know that cooking fish is THAT easy, I would've been cooking it from a long time ago.
The recipe is taken from Coles website, and I did take out some of the ingredients because I didn't bother to buy them in the first place but it still tasted delicious!

Steamed Fish with Soysauce and Ginger Sauce
Adapted from Coles Recipes 


  • 350 gr skinless boneless ling fillets (or any firm white fish fillets will do), cut into smaller portions
  • 2-3 small chillies, sliced
  • A bunch of coriander leaves
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, sliced into small strips / matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • A few squirt of kecap manis
  • A few drops of sesame oil
  • Fluffy white rice to go along with it!

1. Prepare your steamer by putting a baking sheet / aluminium paper on the bottom and let the water simmer. Gently pat the fish fillets with a dry paper towel and put it in the steamer. Cook for around 4-5 minutes (so quick!)

2. While waiting for the fish to cook, add the soy sauce, ginger, water, minced garlic, kecap manis, sesame oil into a saucepan on medium heat. Simmer them for 4-5 minutes and then set it aside. 

3. To serve, I like to put my fish fillets on a bed of fluffy white rice, drizzle the sauce and scatter the sliced chillies, coriander and green onions on top. I like it when the rice is tossed with the flavoursome sauce. 
Le boyfriend has his own style of doing it. He keeps his rice clean and he likes to mix the chillies, coriander and green onions into the sauce then dip the fish into it. Either way, it's yum!

If you have it at home, scatter some fried shallots on top of the dish. BOOM POWW. So awesome. 
I think fried shallots goes well with any dish. 
Just make sure you have some breath mints handy afterwards! 

I like to prepare everything (the chopping, the mincing, etc) before I start cooking, which comes really handy with this recipe. 
If you have all the ingredients all sliced and prepped, the cooking part will be very smooth and will not stress you out. 
For this dish, make the sauce while you're waiting for the fish to cook. So when the fish is ready, the sauce will be ready at the same time and you can enjoy the dish warm. 

That's all for today y'all! I'll catch you guys later! ciao!


  1. Hi Debby,
    Can i add few drops of olive oil instead of sesame oil, can i use similar kind in making momo, let me know. I am feeling bit hungry while seeing your recipe, Thanks for sharing and keep sharing

    1. Hi there!
      I'm not really sure about olive oil.. I think if you omit the sesame oil, the flavour profile will be totally different and you will lose some of the Asian flare to it. But I guess it wont hurt to try ;)
      Thanks for reading too :) Will do my best to keep posting!