Auspicious Steamed Snapper

By The Weekly  , ,

February 13, 2018

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This tom yum-style red hot steamed snapper will add colour and flavour to your spread for Lunar New Year. As fish is regarded as an auspicious food for the festivities, why not give this recipe a go?


300 ml chicken stock or water

100 g shallots, sliced lengthwise

2 garlic cloves, sliced

50 g galangal, sliced (reserve a slice for steaming the fish)

1 lemongrass, use 12 cm from root, bruised

1 red finger chilli, deseeded and julienned

1 green finger chilli, deseeded and julienned

12 kaffir lime leaves

3 chilli padi, thinly sliced

1 flat tbsp dried chilli paste

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp light soy sauce

50 ml freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp palm sugar

1 locally farmed red snapper (800g)

1/4 tsp salt

400 ml of water for steaming the fish.

1 stalk coriander, sliced into 3-cm lengths


1Start by preparing the tom yum-style sauce. In a saucepan, bring the 300 ml of chicken stock or water to a boil.

2Put in the shallots, garlic, galangal and lemongrass and boil for 10 mins until the shallots are softened.

3Add the red chilli and green chilli.

4Add eight kaffir lime leaves and the chilli padi.

5Add the dried chilli paste and stir.

6Season with the fish sauce and light soy sauce.

7Add the lime juice and palm sugar.

8Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and set aside.

9Rinse and pat dry the fish.

10Rub the salt all over the fish and also inside the cavity of the fish.

11 Insert one slice of galangal into the fish’s cavity.

12Place fish in a heatproof dish. Place four kaffir lime leaves on the fish.

13Fill a wok with 400 ml of water. Place a metal stand in the wok.

14Cover and bring the water to a boil. Place dish containing the fish in the wok.

15Cover and steam for 12 mins.

16Drain off any excess liquid collected in the dish that the fish was steamed in.

17Reheat the tom yum-style sauce.

18Ladle the sauce over the fish. Garnish with coriander. Serve immediately.

ABOUT THE CHEF: Hedy Khoo is the columnist for The New Paper's HED CHEF which features Asian cuisine and recipes. You can follow Hedy on her Instagram account @hedchefhedykhoo for more of her culinary adventures.

Recipe: Hedy Khoo / Photo: The New Paper