Try this Chinese steamed fish recipe from Singaporean-Chinese chef Peter Ho. Peter says, "Fish in Chinese sounds similar to our translation of ‘extra’, and it also symbolises abundance and wealth, so fish is a must during Chinese New Year feasting. My personal favourite is steamed dover sole with pickled chilli. It’s healthy and refreshing, and the pickle brings out the natural sweetness of the fish."

This is a recipe that Peter shared as part of his guide to Chinese New Year. Check it out to learn about Chinese New Year snacks, sweet-marinated barbecued pork and sticky, glutinous tang yuan (rice balls).

Peter started his culinary career at his family’s Chinese restaurant in Singapore, where his father taught him the fine art of carving meats during the school holidays. In 2013, he made the move to London to join the Hakkasan Group, before helming the kitchen at MiMi Mei Fair in 2021. Peter’s dishes take inspiration from Singapore, as well as Hong Kong and mainland China.

Peter's recipe tip: "Fish signifies abundance and an increase in wealth and prosperity in the coming year, so it is a must-make dish during Chinese New Year feasting. Steamed fish is one of the most famous dishes, too. I cook it for my family every year for our Chinese New Year dinner. Start with making the pickled chilli, which must be done 21 days in advance. The fish is then marinated in the pickled chilli during the steaming process. Pickled chilli is something I always batch cook and have as a staple in my fridge but, if you don’t have time to make it, you’ll find them in Chinese supermarkets, along with the mi popo. You will also need a large bamboo steamer for the fish."

Chinese steamed fish recipe



  • 300g red chillies
  • 30g sea salt flakes
  • 50g mi popo (fermented glutinous rice)
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 15g sugar
  • 15g bouillon
  • 20g garlic, chopped
  • 20g ginger, chopped


  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Maggi Liquid Seasoning
  • 32g rock sugar or soft light brown sugar
  • 60ml light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chicken powder, or chicken stock cube ½, crumbled
  • a few leaves coriander


  • trimmed whole Dover sole
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • a bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • a small bunch coriander, roughly chopped


  • STEP 1

    For the pickled chillies, slice the chillies in half, remove the seeds and discard. Tip the chillies into a bowl with the salt and mix really well, then transfer to an airtight container and leave at room temperature where it will begin to release a liquid. Mix the ingredients in the container every day for at least 21 days until the pickles are fully submerged. You will be left with around 150g of pickled chillies. When you would like to prepare the chutney, finely chop the pickled chillies and add the remaining ingredients. Once mixed, keep it refrigerated and use within 30 days.

  • STEP 2

    For the sauce, mix all of the ingredients with 480ml of water in small pan, bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low and bubble very gently for 30 minutes.

  • STEP 3

    Dust the fish in the cornflour, making sure it is evenly coated. Put it on a plate and sprinkle over plenty of the chutney. Half fill a pan with just-boiled water and fit a large bamboo steamer on top that will fit the plate. Put the plate in the steamer, cover with the lid and steam for 8 minutes, then pour away the liquid.

  • STEP 4

    Put the steamed fish and chutney on a serving platter, pour over the sauce and top with the spring onions. Heat the vegetable oil until very hot in a small pan, then carefully spoon it over the fish and sauce. Scatter over the coriander and serve with steamed rice.

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