How to Cook Fish in a Bamboo or Dumpling Steamer
Fish, including black cod, salmon, mahi-mahi or halibut, can be lightly steamed beautifully in a Chinese steamer without any added oil at all. In fact, the process can be incredibly quick; significantly faster than in the oven, and as it uses moist heat you will not overcook or dry out the food.
Cook whole fish or fillets in the steamer (many people prefer the whole fish and believe that the flavor is enhanced by cooking with the bones in). For those who prefer the ease of filleted portions, simply ask your fish monger to clean and gut the whole fish.
Steam your fish plain, add sea salt, black pepper, a little wine, or herbs such as dill or prepare a marinade (we love this Juicy Black Cod Drizzled with Lime Sauce).
To cook fish in a steamer, begin by placing a wok (or wide pan) on the stove burner; add two inches of water to the pan (experiment by replacing the water with another liquid such as wine, soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce).
Place the bamboo steamer in the pan (ensure the bamboo steamer does not actually touch the top of the water). Line the bamboo baskets, place your fish on the liner, and set on the highest tier of your steamer.
Turn the burner on medium and let the water in the wok almost come to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
A one-inch thick fish fillet will cook for anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes whereas a whole fish could take as long as 20 to 30 minutes.