How to make Black Bean–Steamed Fish and the recipes of Black Bean–Steamed Fish

Black Bean–Steamed Fish

Steaming fish with salty black beans is a classic Chinese cooking technique, offering a simple yet flavorful dish that’s heart-healthy and perfect for a family-style meal.

Time: 20 minutes (10 minutes active)
Makes: 4 servings as part of a multicourse family-style meal


  • 1 tablespoon Chinese salted black beans, rinsed, drained, and dried
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 large clove)
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger (from a ½-inch piece)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Four 1-inch-thick fish steaks or fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • Chopped green onions for garnish
  • Cilantro sprigs for garnish


1 Preparing the Black Bean Paste:

    • Crush the black beans in a small bowl using the back of a spoon.
    • Add minced garlic, minced ginger, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Mix well to form a thick paste.

    2 Steaming the Fish:

      • Set up your steamer by filling the steamer pan halfway with water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, then reduce to medium heat until ready to steam.
      • Grease a pie plate or rimmed platter that fits inside the steamer without touching the sides.
      • Spread the black bean paste evenly over one side of each fish steak or fillet.
      • Arrange the fish on the greased plate. Depending on your steamer size, you may need to steam in batches.
      • Place the plate of fish in the steamer basket or rack. Cover and steam for 6 to 10 minutes, until the fish turns opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

      3 Finishing and Serving:

        • Turn off the heat and wait for the steam to subside before lifting the lid. Carefully remove the plate of fish to prevent condensation from dripping onto the fish.
        • Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro sprigs.
        • Serve immediately with freshly steamed rice and a vegetable side dish.


        • Steaming Time: Adjust based on the thickness and texture of the fish. Thicker steaks or denser fish varieties will require longer steaming.
        • Doneness: It’s better to slightly undercook than overcook fish. Check early for doneness and continue steaming as needed.
        • Variations: Experiment with different types of fish steaks or fillets, such as cod, salmon, flounder, or black cod, to suit your preference.

        Enjoy this tender and flavorful Black Bean–Steamed Fish as a nutritious addition to your meal, complemented by the aromatic blend of black beans, garlic, and ginger.

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