Chinese New Year Recipe – Cantonese Steamed Fish

This steamed fish is one of our family’s favourite dishes – it’s super simple to make for a weeknight meal and incredibly delicious with rice. It is topped with lots of green onions, ginger and drizzled with hot oil / soy sauce mixture.

For Chinese New Year, this dish is something we always look forward to on the menu as the word fish Fish (魚; yú) has a similar pronunciation to the word abundance in Mandarin. There is a common phrase we say during Chinese New Year “ 年年有鱼 (Nian Nian You Yu) ” which means may you have a surplus of fortune every year!

Cantonese Steamed Fish

Here’s how we made our Cantonese Steamed Fish, and remember to leave some leftovers of the fish so that there’s continued abundance in the new year too!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Servings 4 people


  • 1 whole Sea Bass (you can also use grouper, red snapper, white pomfret, tilapia, halibut or any fish you prefer)
  • 1 small bunch Cilantro
  • 1 small bunch Spring Onions
  • 2 tbsp Ginger
  • ½ Onion
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce 
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp Water


  • Clean and gut the fish, then salt the skin and inside to remove any fishy smell. Rinse off and pat dry with a paper towel and place on a steaming tray.
  • Bring water to boil, then steam fish over high heat for 10 minutes or until cooked through. After 10 minutes, turn off heat and let the fish continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, then drain off any liquid in the steaming tray.
  • In a wok, add in oil, onions, ginger slices and stir-fry till fragrant.
  • Pour in light soy sauce, sugar, salt and some water, until bubbling and boiling.
  • Plate the fish on a serving dish then gently drizzle in the hot liquid over the fish. Garnish with some coriander and ginger pieces.
  • Serve and enjoy!
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