Cantonese Steamed Garoupa (蒸石斑鱼)

Time for some authentic Chinese dishes at home. This one is a favourite of mine, steamed fish. It’s simple, fresh, and delicious. Loads of greens and chilli padis (yay!). Pour the gravy in my rice and I’ll be in heaven.

This dish is commonly served during Chinese wedding lunches and dinners as well. The word ‘fish’ has a similar pronunciation as the word ‘abundance’ in Chinese, so fish is a must-have during wedding events, and the larger it is, the fresher it is, the better. It is usually served one of the last few savoury dishes though, before the noodles and the dessert. Beats me about this sequence but I’ll definitely save some stomach space for it regardless of how much I’ve eaten before it.

May the rabbit year bring about abundance and happiness always. Let’s dig in!


  • Garouper: 1, whole, gutted & descaled
  • Spring onion: 2 stalks, sliced and soaked in cold water for 30min
  • Oil: 3 tbsp
  • Ginger: 30g, thinly sliced
  • Garlic: 30g, finely chopped
  • Chilli padi: 4, finely sliced
  • Abalone oyster sauce: 3 tbsp
  • Chicken stock cube: 1/2
  • Water: 150ml
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Dark soy sauce: 1 tsp
  • Corn flour (optional): 1 tsp


  1. Rub salt on both sides of the garouper.
  2. Use boiling water to scald the garouper very briefly, to clean out the residual blood and dirt. Discard water.
  3. Place 1/3 of spring onions onto a serving plate. Place garouper on top of spring onions.
  4. Steam garouper for 20min till cooked. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in saucepan. Stir in ginger and garlic.
  6. Stir in chilli & oyster sauce. Fry till fragrant.
  7. Add chicken stock cube and water. Bring to a boil.
  8. Stir in sugar & dark soy sauce. Thicken with corn flour (optional).
  9. Pour sauce over fish. Garnish with remaining spring onions to serve.


  • This was a humpback garouper that I bought fresh from a wet market stall the day before. The stall owner told me that it was freshly delivered that morning, and a rare one to have. And fresh did it taste, but it was too big for the biggest plate that I have in the kitchen. So, I had to steam the garouper with both the head and tail drooping out of the plate. Once steamed, both the head and tail kind of dropped off as the meat was cooked, hence you see here an ugly attempt to place it beside the body, and the tail slightly bent towards one side as well. Definitely not the nicest plating around but it served us well enough for our meal!

4 persons as side dish

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