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Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Servings 4


  • 4 thick fish fillets (about 1.25" thick)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese salted black bean paste, mixed with a little sake
  • 8 tablespoons sake (Japanese rice alcohol)
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  • Season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Spread the tops with black bean paste. Place fish into heatproof dish, add sake and steam for 10 minutes over high heat in a steamer.
  • While fish is steaming, use a vegetable peeler to slice the ginger into very thin slices, then use knife to julienne into thin slivers.
  • When fish is finished, remove the dish from the steamer and pour the accumulated cooking liquid onto a large deep plate for serving. Top the ginger slivers and the chives over the fish.
  • In a small frying pan, heat up the olive oil and sesame oil until just before it begins to smoke, then pour it over the fish. The chives and ginger should sizzle.
  • Transfer the fish to the plates containing the reserved steaming liquid and serve.


Adapted from Nobu The Cookbook by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
For a healthier version - cut down the amount of olive oil/sesame oil by half.
Types of fish fillets you can use: Salmon, Black Sea Bass, Rockfish, Grouper, Arctic Char. See full list of sustainable fish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium site.
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