The word fish translated in Chinese means wealth and prosperity, so whole fish is always served during Lunar New Year. This dish is designed to be served as part of a shared meal.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (483 votes)


  • 700 g whole barramundi, cleaned, patted dry
  • 2 cm piece ginger, finely shredded (julienned)
  • steamed jasmine rice, to serve


  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 cm piece ginger, finely shredded (julienned)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red Asian shallots or ½ white onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pork or chicken stock


  • 2-3 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally, soaked in cold water
  • 1 large chilli, thinly sliced
  • 5 coriander sprigs

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place barramundi on a large heatproof plate. Make 3 deep diagonal cuts into flesh on each side. Rub inside and out with salt and pepper. Place ginger in body cavity. 

Half-fill a steamer, or large wok with a steamer shelf, with water and heat over a high heat. Bring to a rapid boil. Place plate in steamer and steam fish for 10–15 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, heat peanut oil in a moderately hot frying pan or small wok. Add ginger, garlic and shallot or onion. Cook until fragrant and just starting to colour.

Combine oyster sauce, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl. Add about 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce mixture to frying pan and stir to combine, then add stock. Cook for 2–3 minutes or until slightly reduced. Taste and add more oyster sauce mixture, if desired.

Remove barramundi from steamer and garnish with spring onion, chilli and coriander. Pour over sauce. Serve with rice.