Making Life Delicious Since 1983

Lucky Steamed Fish For Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is all about traditions, family and food and fish is an important part of a traditional menu.
In the Mandarin Chinese language ‘abundance’ and ‘fish’ are pronounced the same so serving fish, especially steamed fish is a hope for abundance and thanksgiving in the New Year.

In Cantonese regions ginger, garlic and green onion are the most important flavors and this recipe we found at the delicious site, showcases these flavors in a simple but fabulous fish dish to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Cooking a whole fish is the most common, and there are a few superstitions as to HOW to eat the fish. It’s typically placed in the center of the table and family member pick off pieces to enjoy.
The head and tail of the fish should not be consumed during New Year’s Eve’s meal, for ending the year with a surplus is fortunate and may lead to surplus in the next year as well. Other superstitions associated with steamed fish include pointing the head towards the eldest or most respected guest and allowing said guest of honor to begin eating the fish first.


1 medium size whole fish OR 1 lb fresh fish fillets (sea bass, tilapia, cod, pacific cod, red snapper,or halibut), 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup green onion, julienned
2 tbsp ginger, julienned
2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp of chili paste (optional)

Gather and mix 3/4 of the ginger and garlic & 1 tsp of sesame oil & 1 tsp of chili paste, place half of the mixture on a large plate that you will be steaming the fish on, place fish on the mixture, scatter other half of mixture on top of the fillets.

Heat up a wok (or a large pot) set up with steamer (you can also you a large cooking pot and  place a metal pie pan in the bottom filled with water just over the pie plate and then you would place the fish on a plate to sit atop the pie plate out of the water)  Bring water on high heat till it is boiling. Place the plate of fish in the wok (or your large cooking pot set up) cover, and steam for 6-7 minutes.

Transfer the fillets to a serving plate, add the remaining green onion, ginger, and chili past  top of the fillets. Pour soy sauce evenly on fish. Then add 1-2 tsp of sesame oil to a clean wok or frying pan to heat up, pour hot oil on top of the aromatic bunch of green onion, ginger, and garlic.
Usually, it takes eight minutes for a smaller fish or 12 minutes for a bigger fish.

*** You can also prepare fix and all the toppings and use the method of steaming fish wrapped in parchment paper in the oven, go see our instructional video on this technique HERE… Fish In Parchment Paper

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