Ginger & Scallion Steamed Salmon

Although I’m fearless when it comes to preparing seafood, I wince when it comes to cooking fresh fish. But every so often, I come across a recipe that prompts me to face my fears and take on one of those scaly creatures. I must admit, however, that having skinned and sliced salmon fillets makes the feat far less daunting.

The recipe by Connie Chung that prompted this post, “Ginger-Salmon Steamed Fish,” came from the New York Times “Cooking” website. That it required just a few ingredients (all of which I had on hand) and minimal effort made it appealing especially for a weeknight meal. While the Times’ adaptation of the recipe works for any firm fish cut into one-inch cubes, I opted for salmon. I should point out, however, that I mistakenly left my six-ounce salmon fillets whole; and the next time I make this dish, I’ll definitely do it with the salmon cubed.

Even though I was cooking only half the amount of fish the recipe calls for, I retained its measurements for the steaming liquid. In addition, I followed the advice from a reader’s comment that suggested using a 10-inch skillet whose width would allow the fish to steam in the five tablespoons of liquid that remained after it was reduced.

As I was reducing the liquid, I worried that it would not be sufficient, but my concern proved unwarranted when after ten minutes of steaming, I lifted the cover and found my fillets perfectly steamed sitting in an unctuous, aromatic sauce.

I served the fillets coated with the sauce along with its scallion segments and ginger matchsticks, topped with thinly sliced scallion greens. The buttery salmon, infused with the flavors of the steaming liquid, was perfectly complemented by the sweet and savory sauce.

Although I had intended to serve the dish accompanied by rice, its absence from my pantry forced me to substitute a Moroccan style couscous.

Ginger-Scallion Steamed Salmon (adapted from a recipe by Connie Chung on The New York Times “Cooking”website.)



2 (6-ounce) skinned salmon fillets (If you prefer, as I shall the next time, cut the salmon into one-inch cubes.)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
4 scallions
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus more if needed


1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the salt in 1 cup of water and add the fish. Let stand for 10 minutes. (Brining will keep the fish tender.)

Brining the salmon

2. Meanwhile, slice the white and light-green parts of the scallions into 1-inch-thick segments and thinly slice the remaining green parts for garnish. Peel the ginger and cut it into thin matchsticks.

3. In a 10-inch skillet with a lid, combine ½ cup water with the scallion segments, ginger, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook until reduced by about half, 5 to 7 minutes.

Combining water with scallion segments, ginger, soy sauce, and sugar
Sauce brought to a simmer
Reduced sauce

4. Reduce the heat to low, then transfer the fish to the skillet. (No need to pat it dry from the brine.) Gently coat with the soy mixture. Cover and cook until the fish is cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.

Fish added to the pan and coated
After steaming

5. Taste the sauce and if too salty, stir in a pinch of sugar. Place the fillets on heated plates, coated with the sauce, ginger and scallions, and topped with the sliced scallion greens.


Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Riesling

5 thoughts on “Ginger & Scallion Steamed Salmon

  1. That looks tremendous, Roland! Salmon has somehow got off our radar, but this might be the impetus to get it back on. Thanks for this…

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