Steamed fish is the quick weeknight dish you didn’t know you needed. Fish filets are steamed until perfectly tender with a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables.
Steamed Fish Fillet
Although I am a stay at home mom, I have a very busy schedule chauffeuring my kids from one activity to another. So I love having quick weeknight recipes in my back pocket and steamed fish is one of my faves. I don’t season the fish ahead of time and it still works (but if you have the extra time, do it, it will make this dish even tastier).
Why You’ll Love This Steamed Fish Recipe
- A Simple Dish: Steamed fish is not complicated or fancy. It is simple, clean, and absolutely delicious with no steamer required.
- Customizable: Add whatever veggies you have on hand and use whichever fish you prefer.
- Quick and Easy: It takes me about 15 minutes to make this dish and dinner is ready.
How to Make Steamed Fish Without a Steamer
Traditionally, fish is steamed with a wok or steamer. But a large skillet will get the job done. Learn how to steam fish in a pan with this easy recipe!
- Steamed Fish Fillet
- Why You’ll Love This Steamed Fish Recipe
- How to Make Steamed Fish Without a Steamer
- Is this dish Whole30?
- Ingredients for Steamed Fish
- What fish is good for steaming?
- How to Steam Fish
- What to Serve with Steamed Fish
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Steamed Fish
Is this dish Whole30?
While I didn’t label this dish whole30 it completely is. It is simple, doesn’t have any off plan ingredients and is clean. But more importantly it is just food. It is just wholesome, clean, nutritious and delicious food. By now you all know that I am doing The Whole30 this month. If you are new here, welcome. Want to know more about The Whole30, click here. Curious about why I’m doing The Whole30? Please check out this post where I talk about The Whole30 and Me.
Ingredients for Steamed Fish
You can choose a different kind of white fish for this dish if you’re not down with tilapia.
- Tilapia filets: I am using tilapia for this dish. I know there is a lot out there about how tilapia is not good for you, but it’s an easy fish to cook. I bought my tilapia from Whole Foods and it said responsibly farmed, so I figured it couldn’t be that bad for you, right?
- Olive oil: Use this to sauté the vegetables.
- Aromatics: Add tomatoes, garlic cloves, yellow onion, and baby bell peppers.
- Fresh grapefruit juice: This bit of grapefruit juice adds a bright and fresh burst of citrus flavor and when combined with the sautéed vegetables and the steamed fish it is the perfect addition to a really tasty dish.
- Coconut aminos: Coconut aminos have a similar umami-rich flavor to soy sauce. It adds a savory, slightly sweet taste to the fish, enhancing its overall flavor.
- Fresh parsley or parsley flakes: This adds herby flavor.
- Salt: To taste.
Homemade Seafood Seasoning Blend
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne powder
- Black pepper
- Dried parsley flakes
- Ground ginger
See recipe card for quantities.
What fish is good for steaming?
If you don’t want to use tilapia, you can use any skinless white fish you prefer. Here are some ideas:
- Sea bass
How to Steam Fish
The sautéed vegetables amp up the flavor in this steamed fish recipe. The more vegetables the better. In this version, I kept it simple with tomatoes, onions, garlic, fresh parsley, and baby bell peppers but I often also add broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and carrots. Make it your own!
Sautéed vegetables are cooked until slightly mushy. Once your vegetables cook down add your seasoned fish on top of the veggies by simply placing the whole seasoned filets on top of the veggies. That’s it.
Then I top it off with some grapefruit juice. Not lemon, not lime, but grapefruit juice. Just 1/2 of a medium-sized grapefruit will work.
After adding the grapefruit juice, cover the dish and let the fish steam on the lowest heat possible for 10 minutes.
After about 10 minutes, remove the lid and spoon the sauce that forms over the steamed fish. Then replace the cover, remove the dish from the heat, and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
What to Serve with Steamed Fish
When not doing whole30 I serve this dish with some rice and a quick side salad.
While on whole30, I eat this with some cauliflower rice or over crushed potatoes (sweet or white) or over some boil and fry root vegetables, especially boil and fry cassava. For those not familiar with Guyanese cuisine, boil and fry is what we call any dish where root vegetables of any variety are first boiled until fork tender, then sautéed with onion, garlic, tomatoes or other herbs and spices.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove gently over low heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, steamed fish is generally considered healthy. Steaming is a cooking method that preserves the natural flavors and nutrients of fish without adding extra fats or oils.
It takes just 5-10 minutes to cook steamed fish without bones. You’ll know the fish is done when you can easily pierce the thickest part of the fish with a fork.
It is possible to overcook steamed fish. Fish cooks relatively quickly, so it’s important to monitor the cooking time closely. As soon as the fish is cooked, remove it from the heat.
- Large Skillet
- Mixing Bowl
- 8 tilapia filets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tomatoes roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1 large yellow onion sliced
- 8 to 10 baby bell peppers roughly chopped; can sub for 2 regular bell peppers
- Additional vegetables of your choice
- ½ grapefruit juiced
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos optional
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or parsley flakes finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
Homemade Seafood Seasoning Blend
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- pinch cayenne powder
- pinch black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Add all of the ingredients for the homemade seafood seasoning into a small bowl or zip top bag and mix together well.
- Then add your defrosted tilapia filets into a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and then generously with the seafood seasoning on both sides. Set aside
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat
- When it comes up to temperature add the sliced onions and chopped garlic and cook until it is soft and slightly translucent
- Then add the tomatoes and baby bell peppers followed by the chopped fresh parsley, reserving some to garnish at the end
- Continue to sauté the vegetables until they are soft and a bit mushy.
At this point you may add any additional vegetables you would like to add.
You may also add coconut aminos if you choose to use those
- Sprinkle with a bit of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and continue to sauté for another minute
- Then place your seasoned tilapia filets on top of the cooked vegetables
- Next drizzle the juice of half of a medium sized grapefruit over all of the fish
- Cover the dish, reduce the heat to the lowest possible heat level and let the fish steam for 10 minutes
When the fish changes from the pink color to an opaque white color it is done steaming but be careful not to over cook or it will be dry
- Once the fish cooks spoon the pan sauce and vegetables over the filets
- Cover the skillet and remove from the heat
- Let the fish sit in the sauce for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. It just helps the pan juices to soak into the fish without overcooking
- Sprinkle with remaining fresh parsley and enjoy
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.