May 4, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 105

A light, steamed fish dish with big, bold flavors

The first time I had to test a recipe for steamed fish was back in the ‘80s, when I was working in the test kitchen at Gourmet magazine. And truthfully, the very idea seemed preposterous.

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Associated Press
In this image taken on Dec. 3, Chinese-styled steamed tilapia is shown served on a plate in Concord, N.H.

Steaming anything over water had always struck me as boring. And the idea that you could count on a good result by applying such an intense method to a protein as delicate as fish seemed highly unlikely.

But the recipe in question relied on the Chinese method of steaming fish, and I became a believer the very first time I tried it. As is typical in Chinese cuisine, the secret is in the seasoning. Given t...