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Steamed Salmon With Soy Sauce & Chilli

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Healthy and delicious, give this steamed salmon a try!

If you’re looking for a quick and tasty recipe, you’re going to want to give this steamed salmon recipe a go!  You can literally cook it up in about 20 minutes. Fresh aromatic ingredients, soy sauce and kecap manis are what makes this dish extra special.

You will need a pan with a steamer for this steamed salmon recipe which can all be made in one pan. I used this one which is perfect for small fillets and whole fish.

Steamed salmon

So much flavour with so little fuss. Whip this steamed salmon up in about 20 minutes.

How long to steam salmon?

That will of course depend on the size of the salmon you are cooking. For a recipe like this with small fillets, it only takes about 5 to 6 minutes.

Larger whole salmon or sides of salmon will take longer. To check if your salmon is ready, prick it with a fork or knife. It should flake apart easily. If it doesn’t, keep steaming.

I prefer my salmon to be a bit pink in the centre. The steamed salmon will still flake apart when cooked in this way. If it is raw, it will not do that.

Can you over cook steamed salmon?

Yes! So watch it carefully. Some people like their salmon cooked all the way through so that all the meat is a light pink. That’s fine but if you cook it too long, it will become hard and not very nice.

These days I don’t really even check as I have cooked this steamed salmon recipe so many times. If this is your first time steaming salmon, just be sure to watch it carefully and remove from the heat when you are happy with the doneness.

What is kecap manis?

Kecap manis is a thick and sweet, soy sauce used a lot in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. This is the brand I use

It’s not expensive and can be found at Asian shops and online. If you struggle to find it or want to make this steamed salmon recipe right away, you can also make kecap manis at home.
Take 70ml (1/4 cup) light soy sauce and bring it to a simmer with 1/4 cup brown sugar, stirring continuously. As it simmers, the sugar will dissolve into the soy sauce. Continue simmering until you have a thick syrup like sauce.
This can be stored in the fridge for weeks.

Can other fish be substituted for the steamed salmon?

Yes. Try this recipe with the fish of your choice. I have tried it with halibut, mackerel and sea bass. All were good but I do prefer salmon cooked in this way.

Step by step photographs of this steamed salmon recipe…

Ingredients for steamed salmon

Get all your ingredients together before starting. It’s easier that way.

Salmon resting on sliced onions in a steamer.

Rub the sesame oil into the salmon and then place on the sliced onions in your steamer. Season with salt and pepper.

Salmon topped with ginger garlic and chillies in a steamer

Top with the ginger, garlic, spring onions (scallions) and chillies.

Steamed salmon on serving plate

Steam for 5 minutes and check for doneness. Transfer to a serving plate and squeeze over the lime juice and drizzle with soy sauce.

Steamed salmon on white rice

Serve over white rice.

Steamed salmon with kecap manis

The thick and sweet kecap manis can then be added to taste at the table.

If you like this steamed salmon recipe, you might like to try some of these too…

Baked Thai Salmon
Salmon Dosa
Salmon Curry with Broccoli
Salmon with cashew & corriander sauce
Tandoori Salmon Tikka with soy sauce and garlic
Spicy Salmon Fillet baked in Banana Leaf
Salmon with a creamy saffron sauce


Yield: 3 - 4

Steamed Salmon With Soy Sauce & Chillies

Asian steamed salmon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 4 x 120g salmon fillets with skin on
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 onion – finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 3 x spring onions – roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
  • 2 green bird's eye chillies – cut into thin rings
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, cut into match sticks
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Kecap manis to serve, to taste


  1. Rub the sesame oil into the salmon fillets and set aside.
  2. Bring water to a rolling simmer in a steamer pan. Place the sliced onions in the steamer and then put the salmon steaks on top. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the salmon fillets equally with the garlic, ginger, Spring onions (scallions) and chillies. Cover the steamer and steam for about 5 minutes or until cooked through to your liking.
  4. When cooked to your preferred doneness, transfer everything to a serving plate and drizzle with the soy sauce. Squeeze the lime juice over the top too.
  5. Serve with kecap manis which should be added to taste over white rice.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 756mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 28g

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 I hope you enjoy this steamed salmon recipe. It really is quick and easy to make. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 

John Bilek

Friday 3rd of February 2023

I thought I was a good curry cook , you’ve made me a much better one and now I’m trying your other recipes like this Salmon one, all I can say is thankyou

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

Thanks so much, I’m really glad you’re enjoying my recipes. Dan

Kelly Green

Wednesday 12th of August 2015

Looks delicious! I love salmon.

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