steamed fish ginger chili lime sauce

Steamed Fish with Ginger Chili Lime Sauce

Yummy, delicious, healthy, easy, pretty… This steamed fish dish has it all! If you ask me, steamed fish is one of the easiest and healthiest meals to prepare.

It’s also very hard to mess up and takes less than 25 minutes to make!

The result is pretty spectacular too; a whole steamed fish that’s perfectly moist, light and flaky. Drizzle a little fish sauce on top, sprinkle some chopped ginger, garlic and chilies and finish with a squeeze of lime and you’ve got yourself a classic Thai inspired dish.


For this recipe I am using a whole trout since it’s a fish that’s commonly sold in grocery stores, but you can certainly use any other freshwater fish and the result will be just as good.

Make sure that the eyes of the fish you are picking are clear; muddy eyes means the fish is old while clear means it’s fresh. Ask the fish guy or gal to clean and gut the trout for you.

Believe me when I say you don’t want to do it yourself as it can be a pretty messy activity! You don’t need some super fancy steamer either; as long as you have a large pot with a ‘veggie style steamer’ attachment you should be fine (I am using Gordon Ramsay’s by Royal Doulton 8-quart Multi-pot in the picture.)


I like to brush a little oil at the bottom of the steamer to prevent the fish from sticking.

This makes cleanup time easier. Another trick I like to use is adding a little fish sauce, garlic and ginger to the water so the steam can perfume the fish during the cooking process.

This will give the steamed fish a fragrant and slightly pungent aroma that’s automatically associated with Thai cooking. Steamed fish like this has so much flavor that you can serve it with just a bowl of white rice.

Other options can be a bright and refreshing apple and mango salad or you can match the pungent flavors of the steamed fish by pairing it with a tom yum soup.

All that’s left to do is to use the rice to absorb all that yummy soup and sauce and drop an extra chili or two for more heat.

steamer- cabbage-steam-tray stuffed-fish fish-in-steamer
Steamed Fish With Ginger Chili Lime Sauce

Steamed Fish With Ginger Chili Lime Sauce


Steamed Fish with Ginger Chili Lime Sauce

A stunning whole steamed fish recipe with fragrant Thai flavors.

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Category: Fish and seafood
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • 1 pound whole trout (cleaned and gutted)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (finely chopped + 1012 sprigs extras for stuffing the fish)
  • 5 ounces napa cabbage (roughly chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
  • lime wedges

For the sauce:

  • 1 small shallot (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 Thai chilis (finely chopped)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar


  1. Put all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Stuff the trout with cilantro sprigs and set aside.
  3. Use a large pot and fill it with 2 cups of water. Add 1 tablespoon of the sauce to the water. Bring to a simmering boil.
  4. Set steamer over the pot and brush the surface with a little oil (this prevents the fish skin from sticking).
  5. Drop the Nappa cabbage into the steamer and top with the fish. Cover and steam for 12-14 minutes, until the fish is cooked.
  6. Carefully take the fish out of the steamer (you may need two spatulas for this) along with the cabbage.
  7. Plating:
  8. Lay steamed cabbage on a large plate and top with fish, ginger and garlic. Pour sauce over the fish and sprinkle the cilantro. Serve immediately with fresh lime slices.


Leftovers: Keep the fish in a storage container and store in the fridge. It will keep for 1-2 days.

Keywords: recipe, main, Asian style fish

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