Gluten-Free Chinese-Style Whole Steamed Fish

How to steam a whole fish

Preparing Whole Steamed Fish might seem daunting, but it’s really quite simple! Our friend Tina from Just Putzing shares a seafood recipe you didn’t know you needed.

What I love about steamed fish is that it’s so light and fresh. The version that my mom makes doesn’t even use oil, so all you get there is a delicately seasoned but somehow super flavorful dish that’s light and actually pretty good for you.

The meat is super tender, not at all fishy, and so amazingly tasty despite the lack of heavy sauces and spices. I love to eat it dipped in soy sauce, with mounds of fluffy white rice and sauteed veggies.

If you haven’t tried steaming whole fish yet, I highly recommend it. Just make sure that when you finish devouring all the meat on one side of the fish, you don’t flip the fish over to get at the other side – that’s bad luck (flipping the boat, so to speak)!


  • 1 1-2 lb. whole fish (I used sea bass)
  • 3 scallions, slivered
  • 1 large finger of fresh ginger root, cut into small matchsticks
  • 1/3 cup of grape seed or canola oil
  • 3-5 tbsp of light gluten free soy sauce


  1. Place your fish directly on a serving platter, or on a glass Pyrex pie plate.
  2. Place a small metal steam rack into a large stock pot, and fill the pot with water just to the top of the rack. (Or, use one of those Chinese metal steam pot thingies if you have one)
  3. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Place your fish with the serving platter or pie plate on the rack, cover, and steam for 15-20 minutes.
  5. When the fish is done steaming, remove it from the heat.
  6. Top the fish with the scallions and ginger. Set aside.
  7. In a small saucepan or pot, heat your oil until it just barely begins to smoke. Carefully pour the hot oil over the scallions/ginger and fish. (This should cause some sizzling)
  8. Finish the dish with gluten free soy sauce.
  9. Enjoy!


Recipe and photo credit: Tina, Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

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