Steamed Pompano Fish is a simple yet so flavorful style of cooking fish. Enjoy the medley of savory and sweet with a hint of heat of this dish.
I personally love steamed fish. Aside from kinilaw which is the ultimate favorite of my loves, this dish is a close second.
I love the combination of flavors of this recipe. A spoonful of fish together with the sauce, ginger and green onions is just perfect, paired with rice.
What is steamed pompano fish
Steamed pompano is a simple and quick recipe that any seafood lover would enjoy. Whole fish is stuffed with aromatics, steamed and then poured with soy and ginger sauce, garnished with fresh green onion leaves and other herbs.
Steamed fish, in this case, pompano is traditionally served during Chinese New Year because it represents a good year from start to finish or from head to tail in the case of steamed fish.
Fish represents abundance in Chinese as it sounds like the Chinese word “yú” which means surplus or abundance.
Steamed Pompano Ingredients
There are only a handful of ingredients you need to make this simple steamed pompano recipe. They are the following:
For the Steamed Fish
- 1 whole fresh pompano fish – about 1 ½ pounds
- 1 medium chopped onion – we use this to stuff the fish
- 1/3 cup lemongrass stalk, cut diagonally – we use it for aromatics, to remove the fishy smell
For the Ginger and Soy Sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons of light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of regular soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh ginger – sliced in thin strips or julienne
- 1/2 cup green onion leaves – julienned
- 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper, for garnish, optional
How to Make Steamed Pompano Fish
Cooking steamed pompano requires you to do three things: clean the fish, steam it, then make the ginger and soy sauce with green onions.
1. Clean and prepare the pompano
Remove the internal organs, gut and gills of the fish. Trim its fins and tails.
Now, slit the fish so that you can stuff your aromatics. How? Slit the fish using a kitchen knife.
Put an incision from the belly to the head using your right hand while your left hand press firmly the fish making sure your palms are down to create stability.
Careful when using the knife so you would not get hurt.
I usually request the fish vendor to clean the fish and slit it for me whenever I buy some. It is a big time saver. You can request it too, if they allow that option.
2. Steam the fish
Stuff the fish slit with the chopped onion and lemongrass. Place the fish in steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes or until fish is fully cooked.
Discard the water from the steamed fish. Set aside the fish.
3. Make the Sauce
Mix the sugar, soy sauce, ground black pepper and water; set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan under medium to low heat. Add ginger and green onion leaves (reserve some for garnish). Cook and stir until ginger is crisp and green onions start to wilt, about 1 minute.
Add the sauce mixture and cook until boiling, about 2 minutes.
Pour the sauce to the steamed fish and garnish with some fresh ginger, green onion leaves and bell pepper
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, absolutely. Rice cookers usually has accompanying steamer basket.
If you are steaming fish using rice cooker, pour water on your rice cooker bowl, about 6 cups. Place steaming rack or steamer basket on top which will serve as the placeholder of your fish.
You can now press the steam button of your rice cooker if it is a multi-cooker. However, if it has only the rice cooking function, use that rice cooking button and let the water boil to steam the fish.
Just take note of the size of your fish and rice cooker. The circumference of your rice cooker should be able to accommodate the size of your fish.
Rinse the fish in running fresh water to remove the ice from it. Pat dry the fish with kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
You can skip thawing if you are short on time and want a quick meal when steaming frozen fish.
Pour a moderate amount of water on the pot. Place the steam rack on the pot and put the rinsed frozen fish on top.
You may put aromatics on the water like chopped onion and crushed garlic. You may also sprinkle the fish with salt and lemon juice for flavor.
There are various ways you can cook silver pompano. You can steam it, just like this recipe. You can pan-fry, bake, roast, or put it in a grill.
Pompano is one of the best fishes to steam because of its mild flavor and moist meat.
The type of fish best for steaming are those having moist and lean meat. Grouper, tilapia, red snapper, cod, halibut are good options.
You can remove fishy smell of pompano by using aromatics.
Chopped onions, garlic, whole stalk of green onions, lemon grass can be great choices.
Insert them into the fish incision to infuse the aroma and flavors of these herbs to your pompano and say goodbye to fishy smell.
Sharing to you the Steamed Pompano Recipe
Steamed Fish (Pompano)
- Sauce Pan
- 1 whole fresh pompano fish, about 1 1/2 pounds cleaned and gutted
- 1 medium red onion, chopped for stuffing
- 1/3 cup lemongrass stalk, cut diagonally into 2.5 cm pieces for stuffing
For the Ginger and Soy Sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh ginger julienned
- ½ cup green onion leaves julienned
- ¼ cup red bell pepper sliced, for garnish, optional
Steaming the Fish
- Stuff the fish slit with onion and lemon grass. Place the fish in the steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes or until fish is fully cooked.
- Discard the water and aromatics from the steamed fish. Set aside the fish.
Making the ginger and Soy Sauce
- Mix the sugar, soy sauce, ground black pepper and water.
- Heat oil in a saucepan under medium to low heat. Put in the ginger and green onions (reserve some for garnish). Cook and stir until ginger is crisp and green onions start to wilt, about 1 minute.
- Add in the sauce mixture and cook until boiling, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the sauce to the steamed fish and garnish with some fresh ginger, green onions and red bell pepper.
- Serve with steamed rice. Share and enjoy.
- You may add lemon slices as garnish to your steamed fish for added flavor and citrusy aroma.
- Cooking time when steaming your fish may vary depending on the size. Smaller ones cook sooner. While you may need to extend cooking time if your fish is bigger.
- You will know when the fish is fully cooked when they flaked easily when you test it with a fork at its thickest part. Just test it at an inconspicuous angle so that you will not ruin the presentation of your steamed fish.
- Use the freshest fish possible you can. Freshness of the fish contributes to the total flavor and taste of this dish.
Other Seafood Recipes You May Try
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