Whole Steamed Sea Bass

Served with ginger, spring onion and sizzling soy sauce

This fish dish is a favourite of the entire ‘Wan Clan’ and is served at every special occasion we have. Poppa Wan still has it at least once a week.






1 Whole Sea Bass (approximately 1.5kg) – Gutted, with scales and gills removed (your fishmonger can do this)

3 Spring onions – sliced

6cm square block of ginger – thinly sliced

Sea salt


2 Spring onions – finely chopped

2 Green bird’s eye chillis – finely chopped

4-6 tbsp. Vegetable oil

8-10 tbsp. Light soy sauce

Whole steamed seabass by Kwoklyn Wan


Place the fish on a large oval plate and season with salt on both sides and inside the cavity. Arrange the slices of ginger and spring onion along the skin, not forgetting to add a few pieces into the cavity of the bass.

Fill your wok with 5 cups of water and bring to the boil. Place the plate into a bamboo steamer, cover with the steamer lid and place over the boiling water in the wok. Steam over a medium/high heat for 15 minutes or until the fish pulls away easily from the bone.

While the fish is steaming, add the chopped chillis and spring onions to a heatproof bowl along with the soy sauce. Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan until it is just beginning to smoke and carefully pour the oil into the bowl, mixing well with a spoon. Be careful as it may spit! 

Carefully remove fish from the steamer, pour over the sizzling soy sauce and serve immediately. 

Chinese Customs

It is customary to serve fish at Chinese New Year as it symbolises surplus and prosperity.


This dish is normally served with a pair of serving chopsticks with the head of the fish facing the guest at the dinner table. 

You may also like...