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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • Steamed fish

This super healthy dish is easy to make. If you don't want to use a whole fish, you can simply use four fish fillets instead.

Western Australia, Australia

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 handful coriander root
  • 1 whole fish (I prefer barramundi), cleaned
  • 2 to 3 chillies, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece root ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • salt and sugar to taste
  • To garnish
  • 1/2 lime, sliced
  • 3 spring onions, cut in 5cm pieces
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Fill a large pot 1/2 full with water and add the coriander root. Place a bamboo steamer with lid on top of the pot. Bring to the boil. Place the fish onto a heatproof plate.
  2. Cover the fish with all of the remaining ingredients, except for the garnishes.
  3. Place into the steamer and cover. Cook until the fish is no longer opaque and flakes easily, 15 to 20 minutes. Try not to take the lid off until it is done steaming; this will ensure a fully-cooked and tender fish.
  4. Remove the fish from steamer and garnish with slices of lime, spring onion and fresh coriander leaves.


Serve with Jasmine rice – this is a strong flavoured recipe that needs the rice to enjoy all the flavours.

See it on my blog

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Thai Steamed Fish with Lime and Garlic

Welcome to Day 18 of Cooking 20 Minute Dinner for 21 Days! Today we are making a Thai inspired recipe, Steamed Fish with Lime and Garlic.The perfectly Steamed Fish is coated in a sour, garlicky, spicy, and slightly sweet sauce. Since it is packed with fresh cilantro, it is also savory and refreshingat the same time! Steamed Fish with Lime and Garlic is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner and is super easy to make at home.

When I visited Thailand a few years ago, one of the first meals I had was Steamed Fish with Lime and Garlic. Even though it was hot and humid outside, a steaming hot steam fish was the most refreshing thing I could ask for! The garlic and lime balanced each other out and but not overpowering where you can’t taste the fish’s freshness. Once I came back from my travels, I knew I wanted to recreate an easy and accessibleversion that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.

I am using two black cod pieces today since I love how fatty and rich it is however, you can also use any other white fish of your choices, such as tilapia, red snapper, or barramundi. I am using just a filet today since I know not everyone has access to whole fish however, you can also double the sauce and use a whole fish.

Those who can’t handle the heat, skip the Thai Chili, and it will taste just as good. If you want a milder taste of the Thai Chili, you can also remove the seeds first, soak the Thai chili in water for 5 minutes, drain and add it to the sauce.Make sure to not rub your eyes after chopping up Thai chili trust me, it hurts.

  • 2 small halibut steaks (about 4 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 red bird's eye (or jalapeño) chilies, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Steamed jasmine rice for serving

Fill a large pot or wok with 1 to 2 inches of water and place a steamer insert inside. Alternatively, adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange fish steaks in a glass baking dish that just fits them. Combine chili sauce, oyster sauce, chilies, and shallots in a small bowl. Pour sauce over steaks.

Cover dish tightly with foil. Place in steamer or oven and cook until fish is barely cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with steamed jasmine rice

Thai Steamed Sea Bass With Lime and Garlic Sauce

This simple steamed sea bass is delicious served with the sweet, sour, spicy and savoury sauce!


  • 2 x 700g (1 ½ lb) sea bass
  • 20 kaffir lime leaves
  • 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 20 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 6 red bird’s eye chillies (more or less to taste) finely chopped
  • 150ml (about 8 tbsp) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 6 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp coriander – finely chopped


  1. Make three or four shallow slits on each side of the sea bass. Place the kaffir lime leave in the cavity and place on a steaming tray. If you have a fish steamer as shown, that is the best option but any steamer that will hold the fish is fine.
  2. Place the steamer over high heat and steam the fish for about 12 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. While the fish is cooking, heat the chicken stock in a sauce pan over medium high heat and bring to a rolling simmer. Add the palm sugar and stir it into the stock until it dissolves. Turn off the heat and then add the chopped garlic. The sharp flavour of the garlic will mellow in the hot stock and become softer.
  4. Stir in the chopped chilies followed by the fish sauce and lime juice and coriander and give it a good stir. Set aside
  5. Check the fish to see if it is cooked through. When checking sea bass for doneness, the meat should easily come off the bone. If it is sticking, steam it for about another minute or so.
  6. Place the cooked fish on a heated platter and spoon some of the solid ingredients of the sauce, like the garlic, chillies and coriander over it. Then pour the remaining sauce over the fish. It is not necessary that the sauce be piping hot. This is more of a salsa than a sauce but I do lime mine to be warm.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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Thai Steamed Fish in Coconut Sauce

Steamed fish fillets with fragrant Thai coconut sauce

  • Author:Panning The Globe
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 1 x
  • Category: Lunch or Light Dinner
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • 4 5-ounce skinless white fish fillets such as halibut, snapper or flounder
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
  • 2 large shallots, 1 chopped ( 1/4 cup ) and one thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger root
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass, tough outer layers removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 small thai red chili (substitute a red jalapeño) seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk from a can (shake can well to mix before opening)
  • 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
  • 15 springs of cilantro, leaves separated from stems, divided (you&rsquoll use leaves for the garnish and some of the stems to make the sauce)
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Serve with hot steamed white rice (I recommend jasmine rice)


  1. To Make the Coconut Sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a small skillet. Add chopped shallot, ginger, lemon grass and chili. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until fragrant and lightly colored. Scrape into a small food processor or blender. (don&rsquot wash skillet &ndash you&rsquoll use it for the topping) Add coconut milk, fish sauce and 8 stems of cilantro. Process for 30 seconds or so, until everything is finely blended into a thick sauce.
  2. To Steam the Fish: *Arrange the fish fillets in a single layer on a heatproof plate or glass pie pan. Spread the coconut sauce evenly over the fish fillets. Place plate in a steamer and turn the heat to high. Once the water is boiling, cover tightly and steam fish for 6-8 minutes or until it&rsquos just opaque. Test with a knife. If the knife goes in easily, with no resistance, the fish is done. Remove from heat and remove cover.
  3. To Fry the Shallots and Cilantro: While the fish is steaming, line a plate with a paper towel. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, stir-fry the shallots until browned, 3 minutes of so. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Add the cilantro leaves and fry them for just a few seconds. Transfer them to the plate.
  4. To Serve: Carefully (I used two spatulas) transfer fish fillets to four plates.(I like to plate them over a bed of rice) Sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt and a generous sprinkling of pepper. Scatter fried shallots and cilantro on top. Spoon extra sauce over the rice.
  5. * See post for more details on how to set up a steamer

Curried Mousse of Red Snapper in Banana Leaf Recipe (Haw Mok Pla)

A common way to prepare Thai curry is haw mok. Traditionally steamed in banana leaf cups, which imparts a special aroma, nowadays Thai restaurants often times take a short-cut by using aluminum foil, which unfortunately gives a metallic taste. It is also possible to steam the fish puree in small cups or as pictured, in small clay pots (be sure to also see our suggestions for banana leaf replacements). If you visit Thailand look for this delicious creamy blend of fish, curry paste and coconut milk in the open markets.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Dancing Shrimp by Kasma Loha-unchit. See also additional Haw Mok tips.

  • 4 cups unsweetened coconut cream (see directions below)
  • 4-6 Tbs. red curry paste (homemade curry paste or ready-made, we recommend Nittaya brand)
  • 1-2 Tbs. fish sauce (nahm bplah), as needed to taste (some brands of curry paste are already heavily salted)
  • 3-4 tsp. palm or coconut sugar, to taste
  • 1-lb. package of *frozen banana leaves (thawed)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fillets of red snapper fish
  • 8-10 fresh kaffir lime leaves, cut into very fine slivers
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh Thai sweet basil leaves and flower buds (bai horapa)
  • 2-3 red serrano or jalapeno peppers, cut into fine inch-long slivers
  • 1 Tbs. rice flour
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk (use remaining lighter milk in the bottom of the cans)
  • 3 eggs, beaten

If using canned coconut milk, you will need 2-3 cans (depending on the brand) to yield the 4 cups of coconut cream. Do not shake the cans before opening, as cream will rise to the top. Simply spoon the thickest cream from the top of the cans and use for this recipe. On warm days, you may wish to refrigerate the cans to allow the cream to harden, making it easier to separate from the watery parts. If you are making your own coconut milk, use the thick cream from the first pressing of coconut pulp.

Heat 2/3 cup of the coconut cream in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce for a few minutes until bubbly and the oil begins to separate. Add the red curry paste and fry in the cream to release the herb and spice flavors. Stir well to mix the paste in with the cream. When aromatic (3-5 minutes), add the remaining cream. Season with fish sauce and palm or coconut sugar and simmer until the mixture is smooth and well blended. (The curry sauce should be spicier, saltier and sweeter than "to taste" as its intensity will be diluted later on with the addition of the fish and eggs.) Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In the meantime, make the banana leaf cups by cutting the leaves into circles, using a 6-inch round bowl as a guide. Invert the bowl on a section of leaf and cut around the edge of the bowl with the pointed end of a sharp knife. Cut 20-24 circles, avoiding sections of leaves that are split. Gently rinse to remove any sap on the surface, taking care not to tear them. Using two circles for each cup, place the dull sides (i.e., bottom side of banana leaves, usually lighter in color) of the two leaf circles together, crossing the leaf ribs so that the cup does not tear easily. Make a puckered fold about 1-inch deep and staple with a small stapler, or use a short wooden pick. Go to the opposite point of the circle and staple another fold. Then make two more folds in-between these first two folds, so that you end up stapling four equally spaced points round the circle, forming the four sides of the cup.

Cut the snapper fillets into small, bite-size pieces, or chop coarsely. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Prepare the kaffir lime leaves, basil (leave leaves whole, flower buds may also be used) and red peppers. Mix a tablespoon of rice flour with 2/3 cup of coconut milk(the remaining light milk in the cans may be used for this step) and heat in a small saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens to a smooth, white cream. Set aside.

When the curry sauce has cooled to room temperature, add to the fish a third at a time, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon following each addition, to help the fish absorb the sauce. The mixture will thicken as you beat it with the wooden spoon. Add more sauce and continue to beat until all the sauce has been added and the mixture has become very thick and rich. Add 2/3 of the slivered kaffir lime leaves, reserving the rest for decoration. Select and set aside a dozen of the prettiest basil leaves and toss the remainder into the curry mixture.

Beat the eggs well and fold them into the mixture. Wipe the inside of the banana leaf cups dry and fill with the curried fish mixture, making sure each cup gets an equal amount of fish, herbs and sauce. Decorate the top of each cup by first spooning a small dab of the thickened white cream onto the center. Press a basil leaf onto the white background, topping with a few slivers of red pepper and kaffir lime leaf.

Place the filled cups on steamer racks and steam over medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Avoid stacking two racks to steam at the same time as cups on the bottom rack will tend to collect condensed steam dripping from the top rack, while those on the top rack do not get sufficient heat to cook. It is best to steam each rack separately. As soon as the heat is turned off, lift the lid to prevent cooling steam from condensing down into the cups. Remove cups from the steamer rack onto a serving platter.

Serves 8-10 in a family-style meal with other dishes and plain steamed jasmine rice.

Notes: * Frozen banana leaves are available for purchase in our online Thai grocery, but you may also see our suggestions for banana leaf replacements.

Thai Steamed Fish With Lime And Garlic

I LOVE fish. I love to eat almost almost all fish (edible ones, of course). So I'm always looking to cook different varieties of fish meals for my family. One of our favourite ones is this Thai steamed fish with lime and garlic.

Why? Because it's so delicious and super easy to make!

This dish can be basically divided into two. The steamed fish and the sauce. Use a steamer and steam any white fish that you like and then discard all the liquid formed while steaming the fish. We will only use the steamed fish.

Don't forget to fill the cavity of the fish with lemongrass, that will give you so much flavour. Then you place the fish in a serving dish and pour the sauce on top of it.

The sauce is of course the star of this dish. The combination of fresh flavours in it. The tangy sourness that comes from the lime juice. The spicy touch that comes from both the chillies and raw garlics.

The balance of sweet and saltiness that comes from sugar and fish sauce. And the coriander just brings them all together. You just need to try it!

And ohhh.. not to brag or anything but the lemongrass and chillies came from my tiny garden

If you fancy some Asian fish dish, try this one. Eat it with a bowl of hot white rice and you're good!


Step 1

In a clay mortar, lightly pound garlic, cilantro stems, and chiles with a wooden pestle until a coarse paste forms. Add 2 Tbsp. lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper mix with a spoon to combine. (Alternatively, pulse in a mini-processor until a loose paste forms.) Set sauce aside.

Step 2

Place fish on a plate that will fit inside the steamer with some wiggle room pour reserved paste over. In a wide pot, add water to a depth of 1". Bring to a boil. Transfer fish on plate to steamer. Set steamer over pot and pour chicken broth over fish. Cover steam fish until cooked through, 12–15 minutes.

Step 3

Using 2 large spatulas, transfer fish to a serving platter. Spoon juices on plate in steamer over fish. Drizzle with lime juice, if desired. Garnish with lime slices and cilantro leaves. Serve with steamed rice.

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Things needed to make a Thai steamed fish

I am using Sea bass/Baramundi in this recipe. Pomfret, Trevally, Threadfin works well for this recipe.


The dipping sauce contains soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar,lemon juice for tanginess and chilli flakes.

Fresh ingredients

I am using fresh ingredients. Pound lemongrass, julienned ginger, chopped chilli, chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice and salt to season. Add extra chilli if you like spice. The fresh produce gives the real taste and freshness to the dish. Try to include them to get the maximum from them.

You can add the liquid that was formed while steaming when plating the fish. This liquid is flavourful and gives moisture to the fish.

Thai Steamed Fish with Chilli Garlic Lime

  • Author: nags
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1 x
  • Category: Fish
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Low Fat


A simple Thai steamed fish recipe with chilli garlic and lime in a soup broth. Goes with plain rice to make a delicious meal.


  • 1 whole Sea Bass, cleaned and gutted
  • A few pieces of lemongrass
  • 2 – 3 cups chicken stock (or fish stock)
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 3 – 4 chopped chilli padi, adjust to taste
  • A fistful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt and sugar to taste


  1. Take a large pan that can hold the fish and add water
  2. Create elevation to keep the fish on like a small dish or plate placed inside the pan
  3. Keep the fish on this, add the lemon grass pieces, and steam the fish on medium heat for 15 minutes or so or until the fish is fully cooked through
  4. Meanwhile, let’s make the soup base
  5. Take the chicken stock in a pot and add the chopped garlic, lime juice, salt and sugar to it
  6. Bring to boil and simmer for a minute or two then remove from flame
  7. When the fish is done, place on a wide serving bowl and pour the soup base on top
  8. Add chillies and coriander leaves on top of the fish before serving


  • The original recipe also included Thai fish sauce and you need only about a teaspoon or two. I rarely keep fish sauce in hand and have always omitted it with no major issues. If you happen to have some fish sauce in hand, add it to the soup based and check saltiness before adding salt
  • All ingredients can be adjusted to your personal taste

Keywords: Thai steamed fish

Did you make this recipe?

A few more pictures of step by step process to make Thai steamed fish recipe below.

This is the set up I used to steam the fish. A wide pan with two plates and enough water to create steam but without touching the fish

Use a pan with a tight fitting lid to make sure the fish steams properly

The delicious soup broth for Thai steamed fish. Make as much as you want, serves as a delicious side too and can be served as is.

Watch the video: How To Make Thai Grilled Fish In Miniature Kitchen DIY Mini Food In Real Life

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