Shanghai-Style Steamed Fish


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

This is a slightly more robust dish than the ginger and spring onion. Don’t be afraid of the pork and fish mix; it’s a classic because it’s so good and yet so very easy to prepare.


  • 1 × 500–600 g (1 lb 2–5 oz) whole snapper, scaled and cleaned
  • 60 g ( oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 1 small knob of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • zest from half an orange, cut into julienne
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, stalks removed, finely sliced
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), cut into julienne
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil


    Pat the fish dry with paper towel and put it on a chopping board. Make three diagonal cuts into the thickest part of the fish, then repeat in the opposite direction to make a diamond pattern — this will help the fish cook more evenly. Turn the fish over and do the same on the other side, then lay the fish in a heatproof bowl that will fit into your steamer basket.

    Mix together the pork, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, orange zest and salt and press evenly over the top of the fish. Sprinkle the mushrooms over the top. Put the bowl in a large bamboo steamer over a pot or a wok of rapidly boiling water, cover with the lid and steam for 10 minutes. The fish should be just setting on the bone — be careful not to overcook it.

    Scatter spring onion over the fish, then heat the peanut oil until just smoking and douse the fish with the hot oil. Bring the sauce ingredients to the boil in a small pot, then pour over the fish to serve.