Recipe - Lunar New Year Steamed Whole Barramundi

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Lunar New Year (5 February 2019) is a great excuse to have family and friends bring a plate around to share a sumptuous meal to welcome a prosperous new year. Traditionally, cultures celebrating the Lunar New Year will eat foods that symbolise luck and prosperity in a large pot-luck spread as a sign of abundance. Whole fish, which is said to represent surplus, is a great addition to these dinners as the Mandarin word for fish (yú) is a homophone for “surplus”.

If you’re looking to wow diners at your Lunar New Year meal, we have a deliciously simple, yet impressive steamed whole Mainstream Golden Barramundi recipe for you below. Mainstream Barramundi is an Australian Food Award winning fish, which is perfectly complimented by the delicate aroma of the spring onion and ginger sauce. Your friends will be singing your praises as loud as a firecracker as they dig in to this auspicious dish!

Happy New Year or as they say, “Gong hei fat choi”!



700g whole Mainstream Golden Barramundi, gutted and cleaned

3 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

3 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, julienned

2 dried shitake mushroom, reconstituted and sliced, reserving the liquid

2 tbsp Chinese rice wine

4 tbsp light soy sauce

3 tsp sesame oil

4 tbsp neutral flavoured oil (vegetable, canola or peanut oil)

1 medium chilli, julienned

Salt and pepper, to taste

Steamed rice to serve



  1. Fill a wok or large pan with two litres of water and place a large bamboo steamer on top. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. While the water is coming to a simmer, cut your vegetables.

           Alternatively you can use a fish kettle to steam your fish.

  1. In a small saucepan, place soy sauce, sesame oil, shitake mushroom and 2 tbsp of the mushroom liquid and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.

  2. Cut three diagonal slashes into each side of barramundi, and drizzle over Chinese rice wine. Then place fish on a large plate and put into the bamboo steamer. Turn heat up to medium high and allow fish to steam for 10 minutes over a gentle boil.

  3. Remove fish from the steamer and transfer onto a large serving plate.

  4. Generously scatter the spring onion and ginger over the fish, then pour over the soy sauce and shitake infusion.

  5. Heat the neutral flavoured oil in a saucepan over medium high heat until hot.

  6. Here’s the fun part! Take the large serving plate, now containing steamed fish dressed with sauce and vegetables, and place in the centre of the dining area. Clear some space, tell onlookers to observe the spectacle from a distance, as you grab the saucepan of hot oil and gently pour it over the steamed fish.

  7. Sprinkle with julienned red chilli and serve with hot steamed rice.

 Note: this dish is best served immediately.