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Steamed Fish Cantonese Style with Simple Fried Rice

Be inspired by this easy-to-follow Cantonese recipe by Ken Hom.


  • For the fish:

  • 450 g (1 lb) firm white fish fillets, such as cod (get thick fillet so it takes longer to cook, plus make sure it's sustainable and we know where it's from)

  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or plain salt

  • 1½ tablespoons fresh ginger, finely shredded

  • For the garnish:

  • 3 tablespoons spring onions, finely shredded

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon groundnut or vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • Fresh coriander sprigs

  • For the egg fried rice:

  • 400ml long grain rice, cooked and cooled

  • 2 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil

  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    If you are using a whole fish, remove the gills. Pat the fish or fish fillets dry with kitchen paper. Rub with the salt on both sides, and then set aside for 30 minutes. This helps the flesh to firm up and draws out any excess moisture.

  • 2.

    Next set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok or deep pan and fill it with 5 cm (2 inches) of water. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Put the fish on a heat proof plate and scatter the ginger evenly over the top. Put the plate of fish into the steamer or onto the rack. Cover the pan tightly and gently steam the fish until it is just cooked. Flat fish will take about 5 minutes to cook. Thicker fish or fillets such as sea bass will take 12-14 minutes. (Or it can be cooked in the microwave)

  • 3.

    For the rice: Put the eggs, sesame oil and half the salt in a small jug or bowl, mix with a fork and set aside.

  • 4.

    Heat a wok over a high heat. Add the groundnut oil and when it is very hot and slightly smoking add the cold cooked rice.

  • 5.

    Stir-fry for three minutes, or until it is thoroughly heated through

  • 6.

    Slowly pour in the egg and oil mixture and continue to stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the eggs have set and the mixture is dry.

  • 7.

    Add the remaining salt and the freshly ground black pepper and stir-fry for two more minutes, then add the spring onions.

  • 8.

    Stir several times, turn on to a plate and serve at once.

  • 9.

    To finish the fish; Remove the plate of cooked fish and sprinkle on the spring onions and light and dark soy sauces. Heat the two oils together in a small saucepan. When they are hot and smoking pour the hot oil on top of the fish,



• A wok is perfect for steaming because it gives you loads of room inside.

• To use your wok for steaming fish or vegetables all you need is a suitable cover and a rack. Racks are available in chrome steel or, more commonly made of bamboo. In fact, you can use anything that will raise your dish above the boiling water (I've even used two bamboo chopsticks to rest my dish on inside the wok! ).

• Covers are also widely available in various sizes. Just make sure you get one that sits inside the edge of the wok and gives you plenty of room inside for your ingredients.

• When steaming, boil enough water in a kettle to cover the rack and transfer to the wok. If you are steaming for a long while you may need to top up the water. Otherwise just leave your food to steam inside and resist the temptation to lift the cover until you think your food is cooked.

• Your ingredients should simply be placed on a heatproof dish inside and be sure not to allow them to touch either the lid when it's on or the sides.

• You may have noticed too that purpose-made bamboo steamers are also available. I tend not to use these so much as I think the wok gives me more room. However, if you wish to steam two or three different things over one steam source then they're great for stacking up.

• Bonus Tip: If your chosen ingredients stick to the dish (eg fish), place a lettuce leaf underneath. It prevents sticking and won't spoil the flavours of your food.

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