Steamed Fish with Fermented Bean Paste

Taucu or fermented bean paste gives a wonderful savoury flavour to steamed fish. Similar to miso, fermented bean paste is salty but when sautéd with some fresh garlic and chillies, the gravy becomes mildly spiced and a great combination with steamed fresh fish.

5 stars

Preparation 15 mins
Cooking 20 mins


Steamed Fish with Taucu

Malaysian, Singaporean

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Nutrition per Serving

120 kcal
11 g
5 g
10 g

The best way to cook fresh fishes is by steaming them. Steamed fish are healthy, easy to prepare and extremely delicious. It is even more so when paired with a simple fermented bean paste gravy filled with umami.

Where to buy fermented bean paste?

Fermented bean paste is the Chinese version of miso. It is sold as a paste or as whole beans packed in a bottle.

Can fermented bean paste be substituted?

To create this dish, fermented bean paste or taucu from Taiwan, Singapore or Malaysia are the best choices. Thailand's fermented bean paste is another close option.

If you are unable to find any of the suggested options, tweak this recipe by using miso, Korean doenjang or even black bean sauce. The taste profile will be different from the actual dish but the suggested sauces will work fine with the recipe.

What type of fish to use?

In the video, I used Seabass but if you prefer other types of fishes, I would recommend that you choose white fish like cod, grouper, red snapper, trout or bream. Fishes like salmon can be used but it does have a strong taste which might change the overall taste of the gravy.

Steaming fish fillet instead

Instead of steaming a whole fish, you may steam fish fillets instead. I use thick cod fillets which work well with all steamed fish recipes such as Cantonese steamed fish or Teochew steamed fish.

To have more gravy

If you want the dish with more gravy, feel free to add some water and some corn flour/water mixture to thicken it. In any case, I bet you will love this quick and simple dish.

I especially enjoy it as the aromatics in this dish definitely tantalize the taste buds and perk the appetite. To get to reach the full aroma of the dish, do stir-fry the ingredients over low to medium heat until fragrant.


1 tbsp
fresh chilli (red)
garlic clove(s)
10 g
2 tbsp
fermented soybean paste (taucu)
1 tbsp
soy sauce
1 tbsp
oyster sauce
1 tsp

Steps to Prepare

Steamed Fish with Fermented Bean Paste Step 1

Step 1 of 3

    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 1 fresh chilli (red)
    • 8 garlic clove(s)
    • 2 shallot(s)
    • 5 g ginger
    • 2 tbsp fermented soybean paste (taucu)
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
    • 1 tsp sugar

Mince chillies, garlic, shallots and ginger finely. In a heated pan over low heat, add oil to stir-fry minced ingredients until fragrant. Then, add fermented bean paste along with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Finally, add sugar. Leave aside.

Steamed Fish with Fermented Bean Paste Step 2

Step 2 of 3

    • 5 g ginger
    • 1 fish

Butterfly the fish to quicken steaming process. Slice ginger and place them on fish. Steam for 6 minutes.

Steamed Fish with Fermented Bean Paste Step 3

Step 3 of 3

After 6 minutes, remove ginger slices and discard excess water. Then, place sauteed fermented bean paste onto fish. Continue steaming for another 6 minutes. Serve hot with white rice.

Published: November 27, 2016

1 Discussions

Jean Wong
2 months ago

Jean Wong

Really lovely flavours! I used fish fillets and it turned out really good. Thanks for the recipe

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