Cantonese style steamed fish recipe – ling cod

Steamed ling cod

I noticed that a few people have found this blog while searching for suggestions on how to cook ling cod. I remember not having much luck back when I was looking for the same kind of recipe. So for those who enjoy Chinese cooking, especially the kind of steamed fish (usually whole) that is offered at Cantonese restaurants, here’s one for you to try at home. It works for fresh, white fish in general but we really liked it for ling cod.

By the way, we misplaced our scanner cable during the move so I’m posting a rough translation of the recipe here. It’s from the book that I mentioned before when I posted about cooking ling cod. Please let me know if you have any questions or want to repost this recipe somewhere else. Enjoy!

Cantonese style steamed fish


Fresh fish 1 [we used about 1- 1.5 lbs of ling cod]

Green onion 4 stalks

Red pepper Some [1 – 2]

Ginger Some [about same amount as the green onion]


Salt 1 t

Soy sauce 3 T

Sugar 1 t

Oil 3 T


  1. Wash everything. Julienne the green onion and red pepper into thin strips. Cut half of the ginger into thin strips and the other half into slices and soak in water.
  2. Mix soy sauce and sugar in a separate bowl
  3. Insert a cut into the thickest part of the fish and rub the fish with salt. Place the fish on a plate, then place ginger slices on the fish.
  4. Set up a steamer in a wok, add water, and place the fish on the steamer after the water boils. Steam on high heat for about 8 – 10 minutes.
  5. After the fish is cooked, remove the ginger pieces and add the [mixed] thin strips of ginger, green onion, and red pepper. Pour the soy sauce and sugar mixture over everything.
  6. In a separate pan, heat up the oil then pour the hot oil over the ginger, red pepper, and green onion on top of the fish.

Chef’s tips:

  • Calculate the time for steaming the fish starting from when the water boils and after the fish has been placed in the steamer [This seems obvious to me but I guess it might not be to everyone]
  • If the fish is too “thick” (big), then add a few more cuts to make it easier to cook through.

My comments:

  • We tried this recipe with ling cod, using about 1 – 1.5 lbs of meat, or 1 fillet if you buy it at a Chinese market.
  • If the fish is too fishy, it helps to marinade the fish beforehand (or overnight) in some sake or rice wine.
  • The recipe says to rub on some salt before steaming but we washed the salt off before cooking since the sauce is salty enough to flavor the fish.The sauce tastes salty by itself but is just right for seasoning the fish. Of course, all this depends on how big of a fish you use.
  • Lastly, we added cilantro on our own because Charlie LOVES that herb. We omitted the red pepper because we didn’t have it on hand but using it like the recipe suggests probably adds a different dimension in flavor, not to mention its visual appeal.

4 Replies to “Cantonese style steamed fish recipe – ling cod”

  1. i just tried the recipe and it is very gooood, and very easy and fast to cook. thank you so much for sharing it. Two thumbs up!

    1. I’m glad you like it! I’ve tried other ways to make fish since then but this is still one of my favorite recipes!

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