Steamed Red Snapper

Jarl and Grandpa Neal with the fresh catch of the day!


Every time I show someone this picture, they ask me if that fish is real.  This dish was one of my favorites growing up in Hawaii and it’s so simple!  You can substitute any white fish, like halibut or grouper.  Halibut is a little more firm, but still a great sub!  My dad used to buy the whole fish, clean it up for my mom and she would cook each half in a steamer pan.  You can ask your fishmonger to clean it up for you or most places sell it already portioned into chunks. This was always served during the Japanese New Year at my house, and you can read all about why we do things on this day here.  I will also blog about the Japanese New Year festivities that go on at my mom’s house every year….coming soon.  My boyfriend LOVES seafood and as I sit here typing this, I’m wondering why I have not made it yet!  Woops!  Here is the recipe!

Steamed Red Snapper (serves 2)

Snapper Fillet(s)            2 Lbs.

Fresh ginger root           1 knob (or as much as you want!), peeled and thinly julienned

Green onion                   2 stalks, thinly sliced

Cilantro                          about a cup and a half, washed and trimmed off the stem (no need to chop, unless preferred)

Peanut oil                      1 and 1/2  cup

Soy sauce                     1/4 cup or TT (to taste)

Salt and pepper            TT

*serve with steamed white rice and a side salad*


  1. In a steamer pan (if you don’t have a proper steam pan, I usually use a colander set in a huge pot with water at the bottom.  You want to make sure your colander sits deep enough in the pot so the lid can fit), add water to the bottom of pan or pot, usually 1 and 1/2 inches.  Heat water to boiling and set your fish into the pan.  Secure the lid.   Suggested cooking times for fillets that are 1 inch or thicker is 10 minutes.  Your fish is done when you poke the middle of the fillet with a chopstick and it is flaky.  If the flesh still sticks together, cook for additional 2 minutes, checking each time.
  2. Set your steamed fish in a baking dish or platter.  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the top.  Lay all of your aromatics (ginger, green onion, and cilantro) on top of the fish.
  3. Heat up oil on high heat until smoking.  Immediately pull off the stove upon smoking!  Drizzle hot oil onto the fish.  You will hear a lot of crackling.  *Be careful during this stage*
  4. Drizzle soy sauce onto fish.  You can add more or less, depending on taste.
  5. Garnish the top of the fish with fresh aromatics.  I usually go crazy with the toppings because I love fresh greens!
  6. Serve on top of a bed of rice (great for the sauce!) with your favorite side salad!

ImageThat’s my mom, pouring the hot oil over the fish.  She was doing this for a huge family get together.  When I make it at home, I just lay newspaper on the counter top!  Isn’t that floor tile hideous?!?




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