Steamed Salmon Cantonese Style

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“When salmon is steamed with fresh ginger, fish sauce, and premium rice wine, it takes on a creamy texture that cannot be achieved with any other cooking method. As a final step, hot, garlic-flavored oil is poured over the salmon to sear in the juices. From the Wild Ginger Restaurant, Seattle WA. Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook by Braiden Rex-Johnson.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 cups water
  • 12 lb salmon fillet, bones removed, rinsed, drained, patted dry, and cut into 2 (4-ounce)
  • 1 12 inches length gingerroot, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chinese rice wine (Shao Hsing) or 2 tablespoons mirin (Shao Hsing)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (2-3)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 green onions, top 2 inches removed, remaining portion julienned
  • 2 sprigs cilantro, for garnish


  1. To steam in a wok, cross two chopsticks in an X, then cut a groove in the lower chopstick so that the top one fits snugly.
  2. Set the chopsticks in the wok and add water to 1 inch below the level of the chopsticks.
  3. Place lid on wok and turn heat to high.
  4. Place the salmon, skin side down, on a glass pie plate or rimmed glass plate slightly smaller than the diameter of the wok.
  5. Cover with ginger slices.
  6. Pour rice wine and fish sauce over fish.
  7. When the water is boiling, remove the lid from the wok and position the plate containing the salmon and seasonings on top of the chopsticks.
  8. Replace the lid and cook 7 to 8 minutes, or until the salmon just turns opaque and begins to flake.
  9. Two to three minutes before the salmon is done steaming, heat the peanut oil in a small skillet over high heat.
  10. When the oil is very hot, add the garlic and cook until browned.
  11. Discard the garlic, but do not turn off the heat until you use the oil; it must be very hot to sear the fish properly.
  12. When the salmon is cooked, transfer to a warm plate.
  13. Place green onion strips on top of the fish and immediately pour hot oil over the fish and onions.
  14. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve immediately.
  15. Serves 2 as an entree, 4 as an appetizer.

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