Asian-Style Steamed Snapper with Baby Bok Choy

(from koshka’s recipe box)

Source: Wolfgang Puck

Categories: chinese, fish, main course, vegetables


  • Steaming liquid:
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 (3-inch) piece ginger, sliced
  • 4 kafir lime leaves, optional
  • 1 (1 by 3-inch) piece lime peel
  • 1 (1 by 3-inch) piece lemon peel
  • 4 sprigs cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 jalapeno, cut into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt
  • 4 (4-ounce) pieces red snapper fillet, skin on
  • 4 large Napa cabbage leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias, white and green parts kept separate
  • Cooked jasmine rice, accompaniment
  • Special Equipment: 2-layer bamboo or regular 2-layer steamer


  1. Use a shallow pot or wok that the steamer can sit in and fill it with 2-3 inches of water. Heat the pan until the water reaches a boil; add the ginger, lime leaves, citrus zest, cilantro, scallions, white wine, jalapeno, and peanut oil. Season well with salt and return to a boil. Cook for an additional 10 minutes for the flavors to combine.

  2. Place the first layer of the bamboo steamer over the pot. Line the steamer with the cabbage leaves, making sure that the surface is not completely covered so the steam can get through. Season the fish with salt and pepper and lay the fish, skin-side up, on the cabbage leaves. Cover and steam for 1 minute.

  3. Place the bok choy on the second layer of the bamboo steamer in 1 layer. Uncover the steamer and place the second layer with the bok choy on top of the fish. Cover and continue to steam for about 5 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through and the bok choy is tender, but still has some crispness. Check the fish for doneness by gently inserting a fork into it. If the fork slides easily in, the fish is done. If the fork resists sliding in, cook a bit longer. Remove the fish and bok choy and keep warm while you make the sauce.

  4. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, and jalapeno and sauté for about 3 minutes or just until translucent, taking care not to let vegetables brown. Add 4 ounces of the steaming liquid and the soy sauce and boil for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and boil for 1 minute, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Lower the heat and whisk in the butter. Add the scallion whites, stir, then remove from the heat.

  5. Place some jasmine rice on a heated platter and layer with the steamed bok choy, and follow with the snapper, skin-side up. Spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with the scallion greens and cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately

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