Steamed Salmon with Ginger and Sizzling Sesame Oil

Recipe developed by Kim Sunée

Sockeye salmon steams up beautifully for an easy, nutrient-rich dish that delivers maximum “wow” factor. If you can’t find banana leaves at your local market, line a heatproof dish with lettuce leaves, kale, or cabbage, and place the dish directly in the steamer basket. Alternatively, use parchment paper in place of the leaves. Chinese sausage, lop cheong, is a dried savory sausage with just a hint of sweetness; look for it in the Asian section of your local market.

The best part of this dish is the final drizzle of the sizzling fragrant sesame oil to bring out all the aromas of ginger, green onion, and fresh herbs. Learn more about steamed salmon with our Salmon Cooking Guide.

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 15 mins.


Banana leaves

4 (5-6-ounce) fillets Bristol Bay sockeye salmon, pin bones removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 ounces Chinese sausage (lop cheong), thinly sliced (optional)

1 (3-inch) knob fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin strips

1/2 pound vegetables, such as shiitake mushrooms and baby bok choy, thinly sliced

1 bunch green onions, cut in thirds, and thinly sliced lengthwise

1 large bunch fresh cilantro or basil

About 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons sesame oil or peanut oil

Optional accompaniments: steamed rice, hot sauce, toasted sesame seeds, roasted nori


Cut banana leaves into pieces large enough to hold one fillet, leaving about a 2-inch border all around. Line two large bamboo baskets with two leaves per basket. Place one fillet on each leaf. Season fillets lightly with salt and pepper, if desired. Divide evenly the sausage slices, ginger, and vegetables over each fillet. Gently wrap each fillet and enclose or tie to seal loosely.

Fill a large pot (such as a wok) with about 3 inches of water. Ideally, try to find a pot the size of your bamboo steamer baskets so they fit snugly right on top or just in the water. Make sure there’s enough water in the wok so the bottom of the basket is touching but not submerged in the water. Bring water to a boil. Place basket over boiling water and cover tightly with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low. Steam fish, checking once to make sure there’s enough water, 6-8 minutes, or until fish is just cooked through and begins to flake easily.

Carefully remove the salmon and place on serving plates; snip open packets with scissors if too hot to handle. Top each fillet with green onions, cilantro and soy sauce. Heat sesame oil in a small pan over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Very carefully, gently drizzle hot oil over each piece of fish; it will sizzle. Serve with steamed rice, hot sauce, and toasted sesame seeds.

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