Steamed Halibut with Ginger

This steamed halibut with ginger and scallions is drizzled with a soy sauce, sherry, and sesame oil mixture and then sprinkled with scallions. A quick, easy, healthy, surprisingly satisfying weeknight dinner.

Three pieces of steamed halibut with ginger and scallions on a blue rectangular plate with chopsticks on the side.

This steamed halibut with fresh ginger and scallions is an elegant and easy riff on a classic Chinese technique. And it’s ideal for novice home chefs as well as the fish-averse given that it’s quick, almost effortless, and dramatically reduces the, er, aroma that so often deters folks from cooking fish at home.–Angie Zoobkoff

Steamed Halibut with Ginger

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 2
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Special Equipment: Steamer basket with lid and wok



In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, and sesame oil, and stir well.

Tester tip: Once you begin cooking, this fish comes together very quickly. Have ready your sauce, tongs, and serving plate for the fish before you start cooking.

Fill the base of a steamer pan or a wok with about 4 inches (10 cm) of water. Place the steamer basket over the water.

Arrange the fish, skin-side down, on a plate that will fit inside the steamer. (If you have more than 1 piece of fish, leave a little space between them.) Lightly season the fish with the salt and then scatter the ginger over the fish.

Place the plate in position inside the basket or on the rack, and bring the steaming water to a rolling boil over high heat.

When the steam is flowing well, adjust the heat to maintain an even flow, and cover the steamer basket with its lid. Cook until the fish is opaque throughout when checked at the thickest part, 6 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn off the heat and leave the fish in the steamer.

In a small pan or skillet over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil until it is hot but not smoking, about 1 minute.

Carefully transfer the fish to a platter, leaving any liquid behind. Quickly pour the soy sauce mixture over the ginger-covered fish, and scatter the scallion on top of the ginger. Slowly drizzle the hot oil over the top of the fish. Serve right away.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This was a wonderful, simple entree. I couldn’t have asked for an easier preparation. I would highly recommend this to a novice cook inexperienced with fish. Steaming fish is not only healthful but also controls any lingering smell that so many home cooks fear.

I only made one portion for myself and to have something so delicious and simple when cooking for one is a real asset to have in my repertoire.

I used a bamboo steamer and wok combo and it worked perfectly. My fish cooked in about 7 minutes, which was barely enough time to get any side dishes assembled! I thought the ginger could be too much but I ate it all happily.

I especially enjoyed finishing the halibut with the hot oil and could only imagine what a hit it would have been if I had done it for my family.

Your family will think that the chef from your local Cantonese restaurant came to your house to make dinner if you put this on the table. Served with brown rice and steamed broccoli, it’s a perfect, delicious, healthy meal.

The halibut that I purchased was a bit thick and required more than the 10 minutes in the steamer. The cod and and snapper that were in my market were very thin and I was afraid that they would overcook too quickly.

I appreciated all of the details about getting everything ready in advance and it making the cooking process seamless. I must admit that, much to my disappointment, I didn't get a big sizzle. Perhaps my oil wasn't hot enough.

I used skin-on fish but wondered if it was absolutely necessary. My steamer was a bamboo one set over a wok.


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