This easy recipe for Steamed Pompano fish with soy sauce, ginger and scallions is a tried and true family favourite. Delicately flaky yet firm succulent fish served with a hot sizzling oil drizzled on top brings out aroma and flavour.
What is pompano?
Pompano is a saltwater fish.
The flesh of the fish is white and firm.
It has moderate fat content, with no scales, so keep the skin attached.
It has a mild flavour with a little sweetness.
Typically, pompano is cooked whole as the bones are easily removed.
Why steamed fish for Chinese New Year?
Whole steamed fish is a traditional dish eaten at Chinese New Year.
Fish is 魚 "yu" in Chinese.
The character 魚 "yu" is a homophone for abundance, which symbolizes prosperity and good fortune in the new year.
Other dishes for Chinese New Year:
- Quick & Easy Scallion Oil Noodles
- Vegetable and Turkey Dumplings with Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce
- Chinese Fried Sesame Balls (Jian Dui)
- Peanut Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls)
Why you'll love this recipe
Chinese style steamed fish is my son's favourite -- we make this recipe at least once a week.
Steaming the fish is a gentle way of cooking the flesh.
Adding the smoking hot oil over the scallions and ginger adds extra flavour and aroma to the pompano.
It's a naturally gluten-free dish with minimal ingredients.
Ingredients you'll need
- golden pompano: or any white-flesh fish, cleaned and de-gutted
- green onions: spring onion/scallions; chopped into 2-3" lengths, with additional thinly julienned for the top of the fish
- ginger: peeled and thinly sliced
- cilantro: optional
- soft/silken tofu: cut into pieces; soft tofu has a delicate texture and is in between dessert style tofu (dau fu fa) and medium firm tofu
- light soy sauce: for pouring around the tofu after steaming
- peanut oil: or high smoke-point vegetable oil for scalding the green onions/scallions/ginger
How to prepare pompano
Clean fish by rinsing it under cold running water.
Use a pair of scissors to cut at the belly, gut and remove all the innards and gills (Step 1-2 below).
Rinse the fish under water and pat dry with paper towel (Step 3 below).
Stuff in the inner belly of the fish with green onions and ginger (Step 4 below).
Arrange tofu onto a heat-proof plate and place the fish on top of it (Step 5 below).
Use a knife to add a few cross cuts to the fish, to help it cook evenly. (Don't cut all the way through).
Place the plate on a steam rack in a wok or steamer, and fill with water.
Heat over high heat and steam for 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of your fish, until the flesh is opaque.
Remove plate from the steamer.
Arrange additional julienned scallions/green onions, ginger and/or cilantro on the fish.
In a small saucepan, heat up 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, until almost smoking hot.
Carefully pour the hot oil over top of the scallions/green onions on the pompano fish (Step 6 below).
Pour soy sauce around the tofu.
Serve the fish and tofu together with hot steamed rice.
How to serve
Serve steamed pompano fish along with the tofu, green onions, ginger/cilantro mixture on hot rice.
Scoop or pour the soy sauce/oil mixture over the rice and enjoy.
How to store
Store cooked pompano along with tofu and sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To check for freshness, look at the eyes of the fish to see if they are clear or cloudy.
If the eyes are cloudy -- avoid -- this is a sign that the fish is not fresh.
Golden pompano can be found in Asian supermarkets in the frozen aisle.
If using frozen pompano, defrost overnight in the fridge.
Depending on where you get your fish, it may be cleaned and gutted for you.
To easily peel the skin of the ginger, use a large spoon to scrape off the skin.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Quick & Easy Scallion Oil Noodles
Vegetable and Turkey Dumplings with Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce
Rose Siu Mai 燒賣 (Steamed Pork and Shrimp Dumplings)
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 golden pompano
- 1 bunch green onions cut about 2-3" in length, save some thinly julienned for topping
- 1" piece ginger thinly sliced
- 1 pkg soft tofu cut into pieces
- cilantro optional
- 2 tablespoon high smoke-point vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce or as needed
- Clean fish by rinsing it under cold running water.
- Use a pair of scissors to cut at the belly, gut and remove all the innards and gills.
- Rinse the fish under water and pat dry with paper towel.
- Stuff in the inner belly of the fish with green onions and ginger.
- Arrange tofu onto a heat-proof plate and place the fish on top of it.
- Use a knife to add a few cross cuts to the fish, to help it cook evenly. (Don't cut all the way through).
- Place the plate on a steam rack in a wok or steamer, and fill with water.
- Heat over high heat and steam for 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of your fish, until the flesh is opaque.
- Remove plate from the steamer.
- Arrange additional julienned scallions/green onions, ginger and/or cilantro on the fish.
- In a small saucepan, heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, until almost smoking hot.
- Carefully pour the hot oil over top of the scallions/green onions on the pompano fish.
- Pour soy sauce around the tofu.
- Serve the fish and tofu together with hot steamed rice.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
Healthy World Cuisine
Cantonese steamed fish is one of our all time favorite dishes. Save the cheeks for us. Love how thin you sliced your green onions. Wishing your family a very safe and happy CNY!
Raymund | angsarap.net
I love your recipe today, this is my favourite fish and the sauce makes it even more desirable