Steamed Salmon with Ginger and Chives

Chives do double duty in this simple salmon dish: They're in the marinade and also sprinkled atop the finished fish as a final flash of flavor. Cook the salmon in a steamer basket placed in a pot, as we do here; in a wok fitted with a bamboo steamer basket, as is traditional in China; or on a plate set atop a metal ring (such as a tuna can with both ends removed) in a large wide pot containing about one inch of water. Plus:  More Amazing Fish Recipes 

Steamed Salmon with Ginger and Chives
Photo: © Sarah Bolla


  • 3 tablespoons sake or dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchstick strips

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

  • 4 salmon steaks, about 1 inch thick (about 2 pounds in all)


  1. In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the sake, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon of the chives, the sugar, red-pepper flakes, and black pepper. Put the salmon steaks, in one layer, in a shallow Pyrex dish and pour the soy mixture over it.

  2. In a large pot, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Put the dish with the fish and sauce in a large steamer basket. Put the basket over the boiling water and cover. Reduce the heat to moderately high and cook until the salmon is just barely done (the fish should still be translucent in the center), about 10 minutes. Serve the salmon steaks with the cooking juices poured over them and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives sprinkled on top.


As an alternative you can use firm white fish fillets such as red snapper, grouper, or sea bass. Cook them until the center is opaque.

Suggested Pairing

The rich salmon and other bold ingredients can stand up to a lusty, fruity California chardonnay, or, if you prefer to serve a red wine, a full-bodied Merlot.

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