Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce Recipe

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5 votes | 9044 views

This is one of the recipes I remember most fondly from my childhood. It's a Chinese dish, and I'm of Japanese heritage, so my mom used a large fish fillet as opposed to a whole fish. I know it's probably delicious both ways, but this is a bit easier on the eyes! Season the fish just before cooking...don't marinate...or the fish will lose it's juiciness.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4-6


Cost per serving $0.14 view details
  • Large fish fillet(s) 1 to 2.5 pounds (I used steelhead trout. Red snapper, sole or flounder would also work)
  • The amounts below are appropriate for 1 pound of fish, scale up if you prepare more
  • 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese dried black beans (dul see)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 sesame oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice cooking wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded ginger
  • 1 scallion, shredded into 1.5 inch long pieces (green onion)
  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Thoroughly rinse the fish in cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt over the outside of the fish.
  2. Rinse the black beans in several changes of cold water and drain them. In a small bowl, mash beans, garlic, and sugar with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in sesame oil, rice wine, pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  3. Mix all ingredients, except scallion and cilantro, and spread 1/3 of the mixture on the bottom of an 8 inch or other Pyrex or other heat proof dish. Place the fish in the dish, then cover the remaining 2/3 of the sauce. Top the fish with the scallions.
  4. Bring water to a boil over high heat in a covered steamer large enough to fit the dish without touching the sides of the steamer. Carefully place dish into steamer, cover, and steam 5 minutes. Since I don't have a large steamer but do have a Wok, I created a steamer by putting four chopsticks into my wok, two parallel about 3 inches apart and the other two perpendicular to these also about 3 inches apart. Then I filled water up to just under the chopsticks and placed the dish on top of the chopsticks. This is a handy technique for steaming if you have a wok with a lid. Once the water was boiling I placed the fish in and steamed for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, 4 minutes. Test fish for doneness by poking the thickest part with a fork or chopstick; flesh should flake. If not, resteam for 1 to 2 minutes or until fish just flakes.
  6. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the fish and serve. Spoon a spoonful of the sauce in the dish over the fist for optimal flavor.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 30g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 60  
Calories from Fat 34 57%
Total Fat 3.8g 5%
Saturated Fat 0.34g 1%
Trans Fat 0.09g  
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 239mg 10%
Potassium 111mg 3%
Total Carbs 3.11g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
Sugars 0.76g 1%
Protein 3.45g 6%



  • John Spottiswood
    January 11, 2010
    This is a classic Chinese recipe that always tastes wonderful. It's even more flavorful with a whole fish, but a bit more work.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • Michele Grason
      June 24, 2010
      I used a jar of black bean sauce because I was in a hurry and it worked pretty well. I added the ginger, green onions, cilantro and sesame oil to the black bean sauce. Very flavorful!
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
      This is a variation

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