Steamed Black Cod with Ginger and Scallions

Learn how to make a classic Chinese steamed fish dish in just under 20 minutes!

Living near the ocean in California has many perks, especially access to SUPER FRESH seafood all year round! I’m sharing with you today one of my all time favorite fish dish that is so simple to make at home and tastes like a million bucks!

Every Saturday morning in San Diego the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market opens from 8 am till 1 pm and my husband and I scramble to the end booth, past all the tuna, shrimp, crab, and opa fish mongers, where they sell freshly caught black cod. If you never had black cod, it’s a fish you really have to try before you die. It has this wonderfully sweet and buttery flesh that’s super delicate and almost cloud like. If you had miso marinated cod at a Japanese restaurant you know what I’m talking about. We grab ourselves a 2 lb fish setting us back $7 a pound (great price considering some places can be as high as $30 bucks a pound… frozen) and head back home excitedly for our lunch!

Okay now on to prepping for the recipe… Now if you don’t have a handy hubby who’s not afraid of scaling and gutting the fish, ask the fish monger and they will happily do it for a few dollars. Make sure to scrub off as much of the black lining in the stomach as it can be a little bitter. Once you have a nice cleaned piece don’t fillet, no no the Chinese way is to enjoy the fish as a whole! Trust me the bones give the fish so much more flavor.

Get yourself a nice big steaming plate and then decorate it with some thin slices of ginger and the white parts of the green onions. This removes any fishiness (although it should be minimal if your fish is truly fresh). Then place it in a large steaming wok and steam on high for 12 min exactly no more no less. You will know when it’s done when the fish becomes opaque and the flesh is slightly curled.

Now here is the critical part and get ready you gotta be quick so make sure this is the last dish you make if you’re serving a feast because you need to enjoy it hot at it’s optimum level. Okay, get yourself another serving plate then remove all the ginger and scallion as they’ve done their job. Next, get a pan with hot oil heating on high for a few minutes. Meanwhile garnish your fish with finely sliced scallions and ginger. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of Soy Sauce for Seafood (link here) and bring it to the table. It’s important to use this special soy sauce as it’s seasoned and made for seafood. Unlike regular soy sauce it’s a little sweeter and has just the right amount of saltiness to compliment the fish.

As your guests dazzle in awe at your dish, bring over the hot oil and pour over the scallions and ginger. It should make a BIG SIZZLE and bring out the aroma of the toppings! Now the dish is ready to eat. Serve with hot rice and enjoy!

Steamed Black Cod with Ginger and Scallion

Prep time: 3 min     
Cook time: 12 min
Total time: 15 min
Servings: 4



  1. Prepare the garnish by thinly slicing ginger and green onions into matchstick sized pieces and place aside.
  2. Clean the fish by removing the scales and any innards under running water. Trim the tail and side fins.
  3. Place the fish on a steaming plate and put on 3-4 slices of ginger and green onions on top.
  4. Bring a large steamer to rolling boil and place the fish inside to cook for 12 min.
  5. After steaming carefully drain the liquid on the plate and transfer the fish to a new clean plate. Place sliced green onions and ginger on top of the fish and drizzle with the soy sauce for seafood.
  6. In a small pan, heat oil until very hot and almost smoking then quickly pour over the fish and garnishes.
  7. Immediately serve the fish hot with a nice bowl of rice. Enjoy!

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