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Penang steamed fish


Penang steamed fish

Penang steamed fish

Penang steamed fish is a delightful dish that is not only healthy but also bursting with flavors.
Penang is a state in northwest Malaysia, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is comprised of two parts: Penang Island, where the capital city of George Town is located, and Seberang Perai on the Malay Peninsula. Known as the "Pearl of the Orient," Penang is famous for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant culinary scene, and beautiful landscapes.
The state is renowned for its diverse and flavorful cuisine, which reflects a fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences. Some of the most popular dishes from Penang include Penang Laksa, Char Kway Teow, Nasi Kandar, and Hokkien Mee, among others. Penang is also celebrated for its historical and cultural sites, including its well-preserved colonial architecture, temples, and mosques, making it a popular tourist destination in Malaysia.
Many restaurants have tanks full of live fish, so you can choose what you are going to eat knowing that it is really fresh!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Malaysian
Servings 4 people
Calories 250 kcal


  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 wok
  • 1 Heat proof dish that fits in wok


  • 1 large whole fresh fish (red snapper or sea bass works well)
  • 2 tbsp Penang shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp (soaked in 1/4 cup warm water and strained)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (cut into 2-inch lengths and bruised)
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 inch ginger (julienned)
  • 1 red chilli (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 3-4 spring onions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Water for steaming

Seasoning - to taste

  • 1 tsp rock salt to taste
  • 1 tsp tsp black pepper


  • 1 red chili (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh coriander


  • Clean the fish thoroughly, making sure it's descaled and gutted. Make a few diagonal cuts on both sides of the fish. This will help the flavors to penetrate the flesh.
  • Prepare a steamer by bringing water to a boil in a large pot or wok.
  • Place the fish on a heatproof dish that fits inside the steamer.
  • Mix minced garlic, ginger, lemongrass, Penang shrimp paste, tamarind juice, palm sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, red chillis, Shaoxing wine, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Pour this mixture evenly over the fish, making sure some of it gets into the cuts.
  • Scatter the chopped spring onions on top of the fish.


  • Once the water is boiling, place the dish inside the steamer and cover it with a lid. Steam the fish for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The flesh should be opaque and easily flaked with a fork when it's done.


  • Carefully remove the dish from the steamer and garnish with fresh coriander and sliced red chillis.
  • Serve the steamed fish with steamed rice and enjoy the delicate flavors of Malaysian cuisine.


Feel free to adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. Enjoy your Penang steamed fish!
Keyword spicy, steamed fish, tasty

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