Steamed fish with oyster sauce

Steamed fish with oyster sauce |

Just last month, I did a steamed fish experiment and both turned out well — great additions to the older steamed fish recipes in the archive. But there’s so much more that can be done with steamed fish. There are even different options for steamed whole fish and fish fillets. Let me add another to my repertoire.

Minus the minimal preparation time, this one is ready to serve in 30 minutes and cooks inside the oven in a tent of aluminum foil. I suppose that makes it a baked fish recipe rather than a steamed fish recipe but if we’re going to be strict about definitions, the fish was cooked in the steam inside the foil tent so I still say it is steamed fish.

Serves 4 to 5.

Ingredients :

a whole fleshy fish, about 1.5 kg. in weight
half a head of garlic
1 onion
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 tbsps. of oyster sauce
2 tbsps. of sesame seed oil
a small bunch of cilantro, snipped
a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, snipped

Cooking procedure :

Clean the fish by scraping off the scales, removing the guts and gills, and cutting off the edges of the tail and fins. Score the fish by making 3 to 4 diagonal incisions on both sides, about half an inch deep. Season with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the incisions.

Finely mince the garlic. Cut the onion into very thin slices. Cut the ginger into matchsticks.

Take two large pieces of aluminum foil. One should be about six inches longer than the fish and the other should be three-fourths longer than the first piece.

Brush a tablespoonful of oyster sauce on each side of the fish. Lay the fish on the smaller piece of aluminum foil. Scatter the onion, garlic and ginger over the whole length of the fish. Cover with the longer piece of foil, pulling up the center to create a “tent”. Gather the edges of the top and bottom pieces of foil and fold inward two to three times. Do this with all four sides of the foil. Transfer the fish in the foil on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated 180oC oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Take the fish from the oven, unroll the edges and carefully peel off the top piece of foil. Heat the sesame oil in a small pan until smoking and pour over the fish. Sprinkle the snipped cilantro and parsley over the fish and serve at once.


  1. Rose says

    I use the same recipe as yours, but I like to add a teaspoon of soy sauce and slices of red chilli to mine. I love that there’s not much washing up to do when I make this!

  2. says

    “I love that there”?s not much washing up to do when I make this!”

    Every home cook’s wish come true hehehehe

  3. Ebba Myra says

    Wow, tamang-tama, I have frozen large catfish and bottle of oyster sauce dito sa bahay. And scallions. I-wrap ko siya sa banana leaves then wrap in foil. Wala din masyadong huhugasan, kasi yung baking tray eh disposable, so itatapon ko na after. hahaha, naka-ilang gamit ko na yon eh.

    I have been cooking at least 3 meals for my husband’s baon (he works in the oil construction field), plus my own Pinoy food, and lately I have noticed that hindi lang araw-araw, but there I am always washing and cleaning the kitchen, eh dalawa lang kami sa bahay. So I told myself, I have to find ways to lessened my dishwashing chores. I am environmentally conscious, kaya ayaw ko naman yung disposables, pero banana leaves is ok, so I have been using them as liner atop ceramic plates or times comes, kung sabay kaming kumain on the table, i will lay the whole dahon ng saging across the lamesa. Think green ika-nga.

  4. says

    I do this all the time too. If you like cooking out, it’s also a great meal to take camping. Kasi nga, tipid sa clean up :)

  5. JOEY TOSINO says

    isa sa masarap na lutuin ang steamed isda talaga.
    ang gusto ko dito yung isda, either tilapia or snapper.
    pwede rin option na instead sesame oil ang ibuhos sa isda sa huli, pwede rin yun peanut oil. lagyan ng maninipis na hiwa ng spring onions sa ibabaw ng isda, buhusan ng super-init na peanut oil para mag-sizzle ang balat ng fishda at pati yung dahon sibuyas! yum yum yum! handa na ang toyong may sili!
    thanks dito Connie.