Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce – Our Chinese New Year Part 2

Do you know what is wrong this picture?

Oh well, I think I am ok because technically we celebrated the Chinese New Year a few days early…..and also I am not Chinese so I think that gets me off the hook. But the problem with this picture is that traditionally you are supposed to serve a whole steamed fish on Chinese New Year (as well as a whole chicken) as opposed to serving fillets. Something about horrible bad luck all year. Oh well…hopefully I at least get partial credit for trying.

We served this with the steamed dumplings on Saturday for our little Chinese New Year Celebration. If you wanted to add some simple noodles (for longevity) you could make these.

This fish was wonderful. We have never really steamed fish and it’s something we will definitely do again. The texture was great and it was cooked perfectly. The flavors in this recipe were spot on. The black bean sauce (or paste if you can find it) and the sake make a great sauce for the fish while the ginger and the chives add some fresh spicy flavors.

When the fish is finished steaming you pour smoking hot oil over top the chives and ginger so that they wilt and sizzle….which makes it kind of fun to serve. You can see the steam coming off the fish as Jim poured the oil over top. The sesame oil added some great flavor.

You will also want to heat up some sake to drink during dinner, too. It will warm your tummy:-)


Source: Steamy Kitchen

Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce - Our Chinese New Year Part 2
Recipe type: Main
  • 4 thick fish fillets (ideally about an inch thick - we used Mahi Mahi but you can also use grouper, salmon, or black sea bass)
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons black bean paste (we used sauce because it's all we could find, but I think the paste would be better because it's thicker) - mix with a little sake to thin if you are using the paste
  • 8 Tablespoons sake
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1½-inch lengths
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  1. Sprinkle the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Spread the black bean paste on top. Place in a heatproof dish and pour the sake in the dish around the fillets. Steam for about 10 minutes in a steamer.
  2. Meanwhile slice the ginger into thin strips (julienne them.) Heat the oils in a saucepan almost until smoking hot.
  3. Pour the cooking liquids onto a plate that is deep enough for serving.
  4. Top the fish with the chives and ginger and pour the hot oil over top to wilt (they should sizzle.)
  5. Plate the fish on the plate with the reserved cooking liquids.


  1. This dish sounds good! I’m currently trying to love fish, so I’ll have to add this recipe to the things to try!

  2. Words Of Deliciousness says:

    Yum, this sounds sooo good. I love fish and I know that I would love this recipe!!

  3. Dear Becki, This fish and dumplings look wonderful. It is healthy and delicious. I do enjoy learning the symbols of all the different foods. Thank you for sharing. Blessings, Catherine xo

  4. I had no problem with that photo in fact I prefer fish filet, anyways it looks delicious!

  5. This looks so cool, girl! I love it when a dish is smoking and I manage to get the photo right then. Cooking with sesame oil is one of my new favorite flavors. It’s amazing what a little bit of it will do for a dish’s flavor.


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