This super simple Asian Fish Recipe will become your new go-to weeknight meal that everyone will love!
Every time I make this Asian fish with ginger and soy recipe, I'm transported to the Asian market in Singapore, sitting at a round communal dinner table with fragrant sesame oil, ginger, garlic and lemon grass wafting through the air. The sound of families laughing, music and vendors and chefs calling out orders.
Pull up a chair. I've saved you a seat. I hope you ordered your own fish...
What you need to make this recipe:
Before we get to the step by step instructions, a few notes about the ingredients:
Fish: tilapia, basa, cod, catfish or your favorite white fish fillets are all good options here. If using frozen fish, just be sure to thaw overnight, if possible, and dry very well with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Spice level: chili crisp adds a balanced flavor and spice to the dish, without being overwhelming. Garnishing with fresh red chilli adds more heat to the dish. Feel free to customize to your liking!
Full ingredient list and measurements included in the printable recipe card below.
1. Prepare aromatics
To begin, prep all of your toppings and aromatics. Julienne ginger and scallions, slice red chili, snip cilantro leaves and wedge a lime (for the garnish).
2. Prep fish
Combine ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon white pepper and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Dust over fish pieces. Set aside.
3. Make sauce
Make the sauce by combining 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (julienned or grated), ¼ cup light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of chili crisp in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
4. Cook fish
To cook the fish, heat 2 tablespoons of neutral oil (such as canola or peanut oil) in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add dusted fish pieces to the hot oil, ensuring they are in one layer. Cook for 3 minutes, then carefully flip. You're not looking for any kind of browning, just an even cook.
Once the fish has been flipped in the pan, pour the ginger soy sauce over the fish in the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Test fish for doneness (internal temperature of about 145℉ and easily flakes with a fork) and then remove from heat.
5. Garnish and serve
Top with julienned green onions, sliced red chilis and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions:
There are a number of good fish options for this simple dish. I've made it with almost every type of fish available to me, including: cod fillets, hake, red snapper, tilapia, catfish, Chilean sea bass, and haddock. Just about any type of white fish will work. It's one of the most adaptable fish recipes I've cooked. While I chose tilapia for this dish, the list above includes great alternatives.
Absolutely. While I have made this with the freshest fish from our local fish market, I most often make it with any white fish fillets in my freezer or on sale that week. Any fish in filet form is ideal. My favorites are tilapia (or basa) and hake - both abundant in Portugal. Tilapia, cod and haddock would be good options in the U.S.
The recipe calls for topping the fish with spring onions, cilantro and red chilis. It would be so sad to serve this without white rice, so please don't make that mistake. The fish sauce is incredibly flavorful over white rice, but you might want to dial it up even more by serving Ginger Scallion Sauce. For side dishes, a cool cucumber salad (Din Tai Fung's recipe) would be lovely, as would a steaming dish of Chinese Eggplant with Oyster Sauce.
I found that this skillet recipe was a great way to keep the flesh of the fish tender and flavorful while maintaining a short cooking process. I have not tried baking this recipe - if you try it, please let me know how it turns out.
Leftover fish can be stored in an airtight container in the fragrant fish sauce. Make a quick fried rice the next day, flaking the fish into the leftover white rice and topping with the sauce, along with fresh cilantro and spring onions.