Steamed fish with ginger, chilli and mint

Adam Liaw
Steamed snapper with fried ginger, chilli and Vietnamese mint.
Steamed snapper with fried ginger, chilli and Vietnamese mint. Photo: William Meppem

I love steamed fish, and snapper or bream are perfect for this dish. The classic Cantonese method using ginger and spring onion is hard to beat, but sometimes you have to change things up a bit.


1 snapper or bream (around 1kg)

2 tbsp white wine, or Shaoxing wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

¼ cup peanut or canola oil

4cm ginger, cut into fine matchsticks

2 large red chillies, sliced

1 cup loosely packed Vietnamese mint leaves

steamed rice and Asian greens, to serve


Place the fish on a heatproof plate, then place the plate into a bamboo steamer over boiling water and steam for until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

When the fish is finished cooking, pour off any juices collected in the plate. Heat the wine and soy sauce in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling, then pour the mixture over the fish. Return the saucepan to the heat and add the oil, heating until very hot. Add the ginger to the oil and cook for just a few seconds until crisp. Add the chillies and remove the oil from the heat. Pour the oil over the fish, and scatter with the Vietnamese mint leaves. Serve with rice and Asian greens.

Adam's tip: You don't need fancy equipment to steam fish. Ordinary dinner plates will be fine in a steamer, and if you don't have a steamer, a platform of wooden chopsticks in the base of a wok will do fine. If you want to splurge, however, a steam oven is a fantastic piece of equipment.