A Little Bit Fishy: Steamed Baby Snapper

 I love eating fish. My father loves it too. So do Pio, Sasha and Nina. That is majority of our family.

Sadly, my fish repertoire is limited to Ginataan or Sinigang na Ulo ng Salmon. Frying tilapia, although I love to eat it, is not one of my favorite things to do.

So when I chanced upon this Steamed Baby Snapper with Chilli, Ginger and Peanuts  recipe from the book, Women’s Weekly How to Cook Step-By-Step, I got excited and gathered enough audacity to try it.

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This cooking experience has revolutionized the way I will cook fishes in my little kitchen.

It is a one of my favorite gastronomic moments.


4 green onions (scallions), sliced thinly

6 cm piece fresh ginger (30g), cut into matchsticks

2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

2 fresh long red chillies, sliced thinly

1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (shao hsing)

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp brown sugar

2 x 500 g whole baby snapper, cleaned and scored

1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

1/2 cup coriander sprigs


1. Combine onion, ginger, garlic and chilli in small bowl.

2. Combine light soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil and sugar in small bowl.

3. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celcius.

4. Place two 60 cm (24-inch) square pieces of foil on kitchen top; top each piece of foil with 30 cm (12-inch) square piece of baking paper.

5. Divide half the ginger mixture between pieces of baking-paper-lined foil; top with fish, then top with remaining ginger mixture and drizzle with sauce mixture.

6. Fold foil over to enclose snapper loosely, keeping some air in the bag so the snapper can steam.

7. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with nuts and coriander.

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 Juicy. Steamy. Delicious Baby Snapper.


1. You may ask your fishery to clean and score the snappers. Only buy from trusted source.

2. I didn’t add chilli, although I wanted to, mindful that the children will devour this dish. And they certainly did.

3.  I stuffed the fishes with a mixture of halved cherry tomatoes, sliced onion, sliced coriander, a bit of lemon juice and seasoned that with salt and pepper. The stuffing made the dish more flavorful. 

4. I didn’t have roasted peanuts so I just served it with whatever is in my pantry i.e. walnuts.