Daisy's Steamed Fish with Ginger Scallion Sauce

Next stop, Hong Kong!



One of my closest friends from college, Eric moved here to the States from China, at the age of five with his parents and older sister.  I reached out to him to see if his mother Daisy would be interested in participating.  Daisy was born and raised in Hong Kong and even attended a cooking school before immigrating here to the United States.  I knew our time together would be both fun and educational.

As a young mother in Hong Kong, Daisy worked as an English and Science teacher in a Hong Kong elementary school.  The family had to move to the United States because her husband’s job in Commerce required it.  Once it was settled that they would leave Hong Kong, Daisy enrolled in cooking school.  Even though her mother and aunts had taught her to cook, she wanted to hone her skills before leaving her family and going out on her own. 

As a true fan of Americanized Chinese food, I was excited to try Daisy’s food.  I was pleased to find her dishes were not only extremely easy to prepare; they were delicious.  The food was unmistakably Chinese to me but just much more refined, simple and delicate than what I get at the local Chinese restaurants.

Reason being, true Cantonese cooking is very light. Their diet consists of many soups, steamed fish, pork and vegetables.  Many times, Daisy doesn’t even use salt.  As soy sauce is a table condiment in the Chinese home, each person adds it to their dish to their personal taste. 

This recipe is so simple to prepare, healthy and so delicious.  You can substitute any hearty white fish you like.  Daisy uses grouper, snapper and sometimes even a whole fish.  The process is the same.  The day we cooked together, she had picked up a fresh piece of Turbot at the local Chinese market.  She drops in every day to see what looks good.  If you are looking for a quick, healthy, weeknight meal, try this one and leave the take-out for another night!


Steamed Fish with Ginger Scallion Sauce

Daisy eats fish every day.  She prefers to steam but sometimes, she will lightly fry the fish in peanut oil.  It tastes delicious.


Serves 4
Prep time:         Total time: 

1 lb white fish fillet of choice
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 scallions, cut where white meets green stalk (reserve greens for sauce)
1 inch long piece of organic ginger cut into thin strips, (skin too)

  1. Clean and dry fish thoroughly.  Rub powdered ginger, white pepper and cornstarch into the flesh, top and bottom.  Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, add water ¼ way up to create bath.  Cut the white of the scallion to the width of the fish and place on a thin tin dish or steam rack, place fish on top.  Place a few pieces of scallion and ginger on top.  Bring water to a boil and steam fish for fifteen minutes, 8 minutes if the filet is very thin, like Sole.
  3. Drizzle with peanut oil.  Cover with parchment paper and steam for an additional ten to fifteen minutes.
  4. While fish is steaming, prepare the sauce.


Reserved scallion greens, shredded
Organic ginger, 2 inch piece, cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon water

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat peanut oil until on high heat.  When oil is hot, turn heat down and add ginger and scallion greens.  Cook until tender, three to five minutes.
  2. Add soy sauce, sesame oil and water. Cook for 5 minutes so all is heated through.
  3. Drizzle over steamed fish and serve with rice.