How to Make Chinese New Year Steamed Fish

Chinese families will say to each other “年年有餘” (nián nián yǒu yú) to wish each other well for the New Year. (David Yang/China Gaze)
Chinese families will say to each other “年年有餘” (nián nián yǒu yú) to wish each other well for the New Year. (David Yang/China Gaze)

Chinese families enjoy eating fish during Chinese New Year, and steamed fish is a favorite. They will say to each other “年年有餘” (nián nián yǒu yú) to wish each other well for the New Year. The expression means “Have year after year of fish.” Since fish is symbolic of prosperity in Chinese thought, this idiom is a way to wish someone a fruitful and prosperous New Year.

Ingredients:

Whole bass
Shallots, sliced
Individual stalks of coriander (cilantro), chopped in half

1 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Place the fish in a large, steamable dish and add the wine. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the steamer. Pour out the accumulated water from the steaming dish.

Add the sliced shallots and oyster sauce on top of the fish. Heat the oil separately. Once hot, pour on top of the fish. The hot oil will cook the shallots.

Last is to add the coriander as a garnish.

Check out the Chinese New Year Festival and Party Guide for more recipes!

Week 3 Winner: Chinese New Year Photo Competition
Week 4 Winner: Chinese New Year Photo Competition