Steamed Fish with Garlic, Chilli, and Lime

This is my hubby’s favourite fish recipe. If we buy whole fresh fish this is what he wants, no question about it.

You’ll too love this if you like spicy and sour flavour, or if you like Thai food in general.

If the idea of serving/eating a whole fish is scary to you, you can use fish fillet instead (However, I’ve never seen this dish served as anything but whole fish in Thailand). Or simply place some coriander leaves over the head, or just over the eye if you think he’s looking at you.

Warning: DO NOT make this if you have a date. Your breath will be garlicky on an epic level.


Serves 2

What you need:

  • 1 whole fish (scaled, gutted, and cleaned). We normally use sea bream.
  • 3 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2-4 red chillis, chopped (reduce or add more to your liking)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Fish sauce, equal amount to lime juice
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish

How to put this together:

  1. Score the fish all the way to the bone, 4-6 scores per side. Put fish in a deep dish so that it can collect fish broth while steaming.
  2. Put fish in steamer.
    Important: Make sure the water is fully boiling before you put the fish in. Otherwise the fish will have funny fishy smell.
  3. Leave the fish to steam for 15-20 mins
  4. Make the sauce by mixing together chopped garlic, chopped chillis, lime juice, and fish sauce.
    Taste. The sauce should be predominantly sour (from lime), followed by salty (fish sauce), and garlicky. Adjust spiciness to your liking.
    Note: the sauce will be diluted slightly when it’s mixed with fish broth, so the flavour should be quite strong.
  5. When the fish is done, take it out from the steamer. Do not tip out the broth.
  6. Pour the sauce evenly over the fish
  7. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve immediately with steamed Thai jasmine rice.