Steamed Fish with Ginger and Scallions
Chinese-style steamed fish fillets are flavored with ginger, scallions and soy sauce. It’s a simple, healthy dish that produces very tender fish and is ready in less 30 minutes. It can also be dressed up to taste more like a restaurant version.
This post is sponsored by and written in partnership with Noble Vines.
Steamed fish is a classic Chinese method for cooking fish. It’s often served at Chinese restaurants using a whole fish and also cooked at home with a more simplified preparation using fish fillets.
Today, I’m sharing a variation on my mom’s recipe for steamed fish fillets which I paired with Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay.
Noble Vines is made by Delicato Family Vineyards – a three generation family owned winery in California that was founded in 1924. If you’ve ever seen Noble Vines bottles, you’ll notice that each one displays a distinct red number. Over centuries, vintners have carefully singled out the most admired vines, naming each vine with a unique number to identify its exceptional attributes. Noble Vines has planted a selection of these vines exactly where they will flourish best. The numbers on the wine bottles correspond with the numbered vine varieties at the vineyards.
Currently, Noble Vines is running a Deep Roots family recipe contest. The winery values family heritage and deep roots, as the vinestock clones Noble Vines uses to create its wines originated centuries ago. The recipe contest calls for family recipes that have stood the test of time and have been passed down from one generation to the next. You can vote for your favorite recipe submission now through July 31.
In alignment with this family recipe theme, I wanted to share this beloved family recipe. I am very fortunate that my mom is a wonderful cook. Her mother didn’t cook at all but she learned from her grandmother and has passed down many recipes to me and my siblings.
This is a dish we ate often as kids. The fish comes out incredibly tender and flavorful and our parents never had to force or trick us into eating fish when it was prepared this way. It’s a dish which she still continues to make for us when we come home to visit. It’s also a dish that my siblings and I make on our own, each with our own slightly different takes, which we will hopefully pass down to our families.
You start with white fish fillets. I prefer swai fish fillets because they are large and meaty. They are then topped with some sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger and scallions. That’s it! If you prefer a little spice, you can add a few thin slices of red pepper. You can also use a red bell pepper if you just want the color but not the spice. The fish is steamed until done and then topped with more fresh scallions.
At restaurants, they will usually also finish the fish with some freshly stir fried scallions and ginger in hot oil. The hot oil and toppings are poured onto the fish right before serving for an even more savory dish. However, the just steamed version makes for a healthier meal at home.
After tasting some of the Noble Vines wines, I knew the fish would pair perfectly with Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay. The tasting notes for this wine are as follows:
This wine exhibits appealing aromas of Golden Delicious apples, pineapple and apricots. Medium bodied with a creamy mid-palate, this delightful wine offers flavors of peach and hints of toasty vanilla spice.
I found that the fruity sweetness and vanilla spice blended well with the fish. My husband and I enjoyed this for dinner, but eating the fish with the wine really made me miss my family as I know they’d really enjoy this pairing. I will have to bring them a few bottles next time I visit to recreate the experience.
Steamed Fish with Ginger and Scallions
- 1 lb Swai fish fillets
- 3 oz ginger, thinly sliced like matchsticks about 3 inches long
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced and about 3 inches long
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice cooking wine
- Cilantro for garnish (optional)
Additional restaurant-style finish
- ½ oz ginger, thinly sliced like matchsticks about 3 inches long
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced and about 3 inches long
- ¼ of a red bell pepper, thinly sliced and about 3 inches long
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- Place fish fillets onto a large plate big enough to hold the fillets. Choose a plate that has some depth so that it can hold about ½ inch of liquid because the fish will produce liquid when it is cooking. Place plate into a steamer. If you do not have a big enough steamer, you can also use a large pot and place a steam rack trivet at the bottom of the pot and place the plate on top. Pour in about 1 inch of water into the pot.
- In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, rice cooking wine. Pour over fish evenly. Spread garlic, ginger and scallions over fish evenly. Close lid on steamer/pot and bring water to a boil. Steam fish for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked.
- Top fish with fresh scallions and cilantro. If you want to create the restaurant-style finish, in a small skillet add oil and bring to high heat. Once heated, add in remaining ingredients. Do a quick stir of the ingredients in the hot oil so that everything just barely gets cooked and coated in oil. Pour hot oil and ingredients immediately on top of fish right before serving.
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As stated above, this post is sponsored by Noble Vines. All opinions expressed remain my own.