Steamed fish with olives, ginger, soy sauce and tomatoes

In order not to waste the left over very nice Bak Kut Teh, we had decided to make Chinese lunch by adding a steam fish and stir fry pak choy.

I been wanting to try steaming fish with olives after the baked dorade, also with a fish I am more familiar with. The only fish I do recognise here is red snapper. We bought a big 1.5kg last Friday at the market, chopped it into several steak and keeping the head for fish head curry.

Chopping the fish with no sharp chinese chop is not easy. I must bring back one of those cheap and good chinese chop from Malaysia on my next trip. The chop we bought here cost Euro34 and it’s no good.

On top of chopping of the fish, to get an “angmoh” to remove the gill of the fish wasn’t easy too. First of all, I am not sure why he does not think that the gill needs to be removed nor I can explain why. I never remember seeing fish gill in any cooked fish in my life, so there must be a reason.

Fish head, I definitely have intention to try making fish head curry. Don’t think we can make it as good as our favourite fish head curry in Johor but worth a try and looks like it’s going to be tonight! Yay!

Willem really likes my Chinese steam fish (ginger and soy sauce) but I think they are not good enough for myself. He also does not think tomatoes go well with soy sauce. It took a little convincing to insist on making steam red snapper with olives, soy sauce, tomatoes and ginger.

The cook always wins. The stir fry pak choy was delicious, left over bak kut teh tasted better than last night (ribs even more tender and soup was stronger) and the red snapper came out exactly what I expected.

steamed red snapper

All in our stomach! Forgotten to take photo before we start eating. Will replace this photo next time cooking the fish.

So, what did I add in the steamed fish…


  • 2 steak filler of red snapper (you can use the whole fish, adjust the amount of other ingredients accordingly)
  • 8 green olives (will reduce to 6 or 5 so the olive does not dominate the sauce, also will try using black olives next time) – slice them
  • 1 tomato – cut into 12 slices. I don’t like to eat the tomates after being steamed but I think the tomatoes help producing “juice” for the sauce
  • Thumb size of ginger – cut into slices or strips
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • A small pinch of sea salt
  • note – I had added some parsley and fresh oregano but I don’t think they contribute any taste to the dish, will eliminate them in future.

Put some gingers, olives and tomatoes under and above the fish. Pour soy sauce over the fish and sprinkle sea salt all over. Steam it for 6-10 minutes depending on the size of your fish. I notice cooked steamed fish will produce quite some “juice”, if your plate is dry, chances is high that the fish is still uncook. Don’t steam more than 10 minutes, in general steamed fish cook fairly quickly.

Do use a plate/bowl with some depth to contain the juice/sauce coming out of the fish and tomatoes. This is certainly a dish to impress your Chinese friends and family. Smell and taste of the olives might make it also European friendly.

steamed fish

I have made this dish again recently with my new steamer! However, will not use dorade again. I better stick to red snapper or sea bass if I see them at the market.




About MyTasteHisTaste

Love eating and wine drinking.
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