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Tasty Steamed Teochew Pomfret In Foil (清蒸斗鲳)

To make a good dish of Pomfret, the fish has to be as fresh as possible. Mum also said it’s important to get White Pomfret, the more expensive one. I’ve also been repeatedly reminded that a decent Teochew would never serve Black Pomfret to any distinguished guests :)

Ann (my student) introduced me to a higher class of Pomfret. She said 斗鲳 (dou cang) tastes much better. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the English name. But it’s nice that I’m also learning something from my student.

I’m a Teochew (a Chinese dialect) & this is a hand-me-down recipe from mum. This is also one of my hubby’s fave dishes.

This recipe is featured @
OMY-食天堂Eat as DIY 好主意!

petitchef steamed teochew pomfret recipe
Featured at PtitChef

Also featured @ OpenRice S'pore, together with my
Juicy Clams & Mussels In Truffle Oil & White Wine

You’ll need these ingredients:
1 medium White Pomfret
2 Chinese Mushrooms
1 Tomato
1 or 2 Sour Plum
1 small piece of Salted Vegetable (shredded)
2 pieces of Asam Kulek or Tamarind
2 slices of Ginger (shredded)
½ Chilli (shredded)
2 tsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Wine
2 tsp Soya sauce
50ml Water

Pinch of salt & pepper
½ tsp Cornflour

  1. Soak mushrooms & asam in water till soft.
  2. Clean fish & cut off Pectoral Fins (optional). Make 2-3 slits on each side. Marinate fish. Insert small amount of ginger, chilli & mushrooms into slits. Put some ginger into cavity too.
  3. Make a double layer foil boat & place some ingredients on it. Put the boat over another layer of foil for wrapping later.
  4. Place fish on top of ingredients & add the rest around it. Mix seasonings with water & pour it in.
  5. Wrap foil tightly. Leave the fish in the fridge to marinate for about 15 mins. Steam fish for about 20 mins since it’s from the fridge.
  6. Check to see if fish is cooked by inserting a toothpick. Fish is ready to be served if it pierces through easily. Transfer to serving plate & unwrap foil. Garnish with spring onions & serve piping hot. * Reduce time by 5 mins if you steaming directly from a plate without foil. Enjoy!


  1. The white pomfret is the best Shirley because I have tried both with the black one too.

    The black is more suitable for deep frying or int tauchu sauce or in curries.

    Surely your hubby and mine love the same kind of dish and fish, nice one and healthy with steaming.

  2. Hi Shirley

    I am a true blue Teochew who grows up on steamed pomfret :-)

    Yes, the superior dau cheo is the way to go as the flesh is thicker and firmer.

    Steaming it in foil is an innovative way to seal the juices. Clever gal!

  3. I never know that "Teochew would never serve Black Pomfret to any distinguished guests" hahaha! so when i visit a teochew house and i'm being serve that, i know what is means... LOL!

    Like what Nava.K said, what i thought is that black pomfret is for frying and white is for steaming or cooking fish soup. Nevertheless, you have given me a good idea of steaming white pomfret - in foil - brilliant, can keep in the fragrance.

  4. I love steamed pomfret. Pity I can't find fresh pomfret over here.

  5. Omg, Shirley! How did I not know that you were Teochew? I'm half Teochew (my Dad's side). Do you speak Teochew also? My Grandma would make all these wonderful Teochew dishes when I was young. Boy do I miss her cooking. This dish is very reminiscent of something she used to make. It looks delicious and packed with flavour.

  6. Wow this really brings me back one hrs, as I don't really get to eat promfret these days,

    Been bz recently too so apologies if I haven't been visiting here so often :)

  7. Nava, sometimes I deep-fry Pomfret too. I like it with lots of shredded ginger :)

    Amy, what a coincidence! So u're a Teochew too :) Wrapping up in foil definitely seal in the juices :)

    Doris, shall I serve u the black one next time? Hahaha! Try this method the next time. U'll like it!

    Biren, seems u can't get a lot of stuff over where u live. It's a pity. Bet u always eat a lot when u travel to Asia :)

    Lequan, I speak Teochew, Cantonese & Hokkien. My Canto is most fluent actually. Hahaha! Do u get to inherit her skills?

    Ian, thought I've lost u. Hahaha! Glad to hear from u again :) Take care!

  8. I am a great fan of promfet fish also! Plus I am half teochew! Wow thanks for your step by step instruction on how to cook a nice teochew style promfet fish!

  9. Crazywrazy, thks for dropping by! Glad u like it :) Going over to visit your blog now........

  10. I dun really like pomfret but for this dish is one of the must eat and cook with pomfret :) hehe Miss the taste thou!

  11. I am a big fan of fish, and fish in foil is probably the best way of cooking fish. The fish remains juicy, and it absorbs the lovely flavours of the seasoning. I'm not teochew and have not tried any teochew dish. Would really love to try this!!!

  12. So cool, I speak Cantonese and Teochew too! I wish I inherited some of my Grandma's cooking skills, but I was more into playing back then than eating. Haha. What a waste huh?

  13. Kian Fai, thks for dropping by & leaving your trail! I've left my comments on your blog too. Have a good week!

    Kayla, pls do try this awesome dish one day :) This is one seafood that most moms can make.

    Lequan, we've just too much in common! I enjoyed cooking from young. My aunt & uncle were good chefs. Sadly, they're no longer around :<

  14. Beautiful recipe from your mom...I can see why it's a favorite of you hubbies :) And look at the size of that!

  15. Alisha, this is a popular dish in Chinese families. Been seeing this dish since young :)


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