Steamed whole tilapia with ginger and soy sauce Steamed whole tilapia with ginger and soy sauce

The dish that launched this blog. Literally. More than seven years ago, I was contributing articles to a business news website and starting my own blog. I posted a photo and recipe of a simple steamed tilapia dish, the business website editor saw it and said I had a gold mine in there. Well, “gold mine” is figurative but that encouraged me enough to get serious about food blogging.

I guess I’m looking back at this blog’s beginnings and getting sappy about it. Lots of things are happening — moving and moving on — and it feels good to be able to look back. So, I’m reposting this entry with an updated recipe and a new photo.

Not just plain steamed fish, but with all the spices that make it special. No fishy smell. No mess. No fat. No fishy smell either. How? Ginger not only gets rid of the fishy smell, it flavors the fish wonderfully too. Combined with garlic, plain fish becomes a treat. A dash of sesame seed oil gives this dish an oreintal aroma. This is a simpler version of steamed whole fish.


  • 1 large tilapia, about 800 g.
    1 Tbsp. of julienned ginger (aside from the flavor, ginger gets rid of the fishy smell)
    plenty of crushed garlic
    3 to 4 tbsp. light soy sauce
    1 tbsp. citus juice (calamansi, lemon or lime)
    freshly cracked black pepper
    1 tbsp. of sesame oil
    finely sliced onion leaves for garnish


  1. Boil plenty of water in a steamer.

    Slash (score) the fish (see tips).

    Stuff the cavity with half of the garlic and ginger, and some pepper.

    Rub half of the soy sauce and citus juice all over and inside (the cavity from where the intestines have been removed) the fish.

    Lay the fish on a heatproof dish. Pour the remaining soy sauce and citrus juice over and around it. Sprinkle the remaining garlic and ginger. Crack more black pepper over it.

    Steam over briskly boiling water for about 20 minutes.

    Garnish with onion leaves. Heat the sesame see oil until smoking. Pour over the fish. Serve at once.

Cooking time (duration): 30 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 2

Meal type: lunch / supper


  1. says

    hi ms. connie,

    this is super easy to do, i’m gonna try this for my family this weekend. can i substitute the sesami oil for olive oil?