Steam Fish With Tau Cheo

In this article, we are going to delve into how we can cook steam fish with tau cheo with only a few and affordable ingredients which you can cook and replicate within the comfort of your own home!

For those of you who might not be familiar with what “Tau Cheo” is, it is basically just fermented soy bean paste which can be purchased at any supermarket in your vicinity.

However, the availability of it may vary from country to country, but in most cases, you are going to be able to find some Tau Cheo when you do your groceries.

What Tau Cheo does is that it enhances the taste of most dishes, giving it an aromatic and sweet with a bit of saltiness to the taste. Tau Cheo is commonly used when steaming fish, as the soy bean paste begins to seep itself within the confines of the meat of the steamed fish, and once it settles down, provides a sweet and salty taste that is most sought after by many.

Soybean Paste – Will This Make My Steam Fish Delicious?

Short answer is, of course!

Before we can start making your Steam fish with Tau Cheo, you must first prepare the following ingredients:

  • Whole white fish – three hundred fifty grams should suffice. If you are curious as to what kind of fish would go best with this dish, you can never go wrong with either Seabream, Grouper or Seabass.
  • Chillies – two red sticks, julienned to fine bits
  • Spring Onions – three stalks
  • Light soy sauce – two tablespoons, to finish

As for the paste, prepare the following:

  • Tau Cheo (soy bean paste) – one tablespoon, either Korean or Chinese will do
  • Garlic – three cloves
  • Ginger – one thumb-sized piece
  • Water – two tablespoons
  • Sesame oil – one teaspoon
  • Plum sauce – one tablespoon
  • Shallots – one tablespoon, dried and fried

Preparations that you need to do before steaming your fish:

Step 1: First thing that you must do is to create your paste.

Using a spoon or a vegetable peeler, clean the ginger off of its outer skin prior to chopping it up into matchsticks.

Step 2: Get the garlic and slice it up into fine bits and along with the dried and fried shallots, ginger, plum sauce, Tau Cheo, sesame oil and the two tablespoons of water, throw them into a food processor and blend until you achieve a pasty and smoot constitution.

Also, you must peel your garlic prior to placing it in the food processor. If you have difficulty in peeling the skin off of a garlic, you can squish it with the side of a knife and when you hear a crunch, you can easily peel it off, no problem!

Step 3: As for the fish, you have to clean it by running lukewarm tap water onto the fish to remove any excess grit that might have become stuck onto the fish meat.

Step 4: With a spoon, scoop up some of the paste and lather it onto the fish, with generous application. Make sure to spread it evenly on the top side. Set the dish where the fish is aside and prepare it for steaming.

Steps that you need to do when steaming your Tau Cheo Whole Steamed Fish:

Step 1: Get your wok and place it on top of your stove. Pour some water onto the wok and stop when the water reaches halfway between the lid and bottom. Afterwards, get your steam stand and place it in the middle of the wok.

Alternatively, you can use a bowl that has a thick bottom as a means to substitute for a steam stand if you do not have one. Make sure that the bowl is short enough so that when you place the fish on top of it as well as the lid, the lid does not touch the fish when it is already placed, but tall enough that the liquid from the bottom will not interact in any way with the fish.

Step 2: Fire up the stove to high and carefully place the fish plate on the steam stand and place the lid on top of the wok. For about eight to twelve minutes should you steam your fish, although it might vary depending on how big or how small your fish is.

Step 3: For the meantime while we wait for the fish to finish steaming, chop your spring onions into fine slices. As for the chilies, arrange them lengthwise and halve them. Scrape off the seeds and slice the skin into thin lengthwise strips. With a bowl filled with ice water, place both the chilies and spring onions into it and put the bowl aside.

Step 4: Once the fish has finished steaming, take it off from the wok.


Spread a generous amount of spring onions and chilies onto your fish. Clean the wok that you used to steam your fish and pour one to two tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat the stove up. Wait until smoke comes out and pour it over your chili and spring onion mix.

And for the pièce de résistance, pour the fish in light soy sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Tau Cheo or soy bean paste is a good additive as well as a flavoring for your steamed fish. It accentuates the already rich and savory flavor of fish by enhancing it with its sweetness and spiciness, giving it an upgrade in the taste department. Couple it with some other flavor enhancing spices and herbs such as onions, ginger, plum sauce and shallots, and you will have a paste that is unrivaled in terms of deliciousness and aroma.

Steam Fish With Tau Cheo if done correctly will serve as a wonderful main dish in whatever setting, from a small family gathering, an office function or even for just a meal for one, you will always enjoy a delicious dish.

Case in point, the Tau Cheo Whole Steamed Fish recipe that we have discussed will be more than capable to ensure that you will be able to replicate the dish conveniently and easily!

Read my other post on ways to steam fish and my other steam fish recipes.

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