Sake-Steamed Mandarin Fish

January 18, 2012
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

I recently discovered satsuma mandarins... by accident. A few weeks ago, I noticed a slightly different-looking citrus: a satsuma mandarin. After taking a bite, my husband didn't swoon over them the way I did, because he prefers the super-sweet clementine, but I was wowed over the flavor. Far from the saccharin sweetness of those ubiquitous mandarins in a can, the satsumas have a rich, full flavor and are more tart than a clementine.

I thought these would provide the perfect balance to a rich white fish and round out the flavor of a sake-based steaming broth. I cooked the mandarins on the fish and let the juice steep into the fish and sauce. Then, I topped the fish with raw satsuma spiked with a bite of lime. Serve the fish with a mandarin and ginger-scented rice to soak up the broth. If you can't find satsumas, use another kind of fresh mandarin or a clementine. This was made for just two but very simple to double or triple. —meganvt01

Test Kitchen Notes

I made this spicy dish with Halibut. The satsuma relish was complex with cooling elements. The sake broth aromatically steamed the fish while the satsuma and chile added freshness and that kick of heat we all love. The sauce provided salty and umami flavors to enhance the sweet fish and the accompanying citrus rice. We all thoroughly enjoyed this dish! —Annie stader

What You'll Need
  • For the sake-steamed fish:
  • 1 satsuma mandarin, peeled, segmented, and trimmed of excess fiber
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • Salt and pepper
  • two-4 ounces filets of a firm white fish (You can use sustainable chilean sea bass, striped bass, grouper, or cod.)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small red chile (like a Thai chile), seeded and sliced very thinly
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced and peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • For the mandarin ginger-scented rice:
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 1-inch knob of ginger, crushed with the back of a knife
  • 1 3/4 chicken stock
  • 1 satsuma peel
  1. For the sake-steamed fish:
  2. Take half of the satsuma segments and slice them into quarters, set aside. Take the other half and chop -- this will make roughly 1 heaping tablespoon. Mix the chopped satsumas with the scallions and lime zest, set aside. Season mixture lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush each fish fillet with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the sliced satsuma segments flat on top of the fish and top with 2 to 3 slices of chile, depending on how much heat you prefer.
  4. In a steamer pot, bring the sake, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce to a hearty simmer. Place the fish in your steamer rack and cover. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the fish is cooked through -- it should be opaque in the center but not too firm.
  5. Remove the fish, place on a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm. Set aside. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and reduce by half. Taste for seasoning, then set aside as you make the rice.
  1. For the mandarin ginger-scented rice:
  2. In a medium stock pot, heat the butter over medium heat. When it is melted, add the shallot and cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  3. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute (allowing it to soak up the shallot butter). Toss in the ginger, chicken stock, and satsuma peel, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or according to rice package instructions.
  4. Take rice off the heat for 5 minutes, keep covered. Fluff with a fork, remove ginger and peel. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the fish over rice and spoon the sauce on top. Top the fillets with the fresh satsuma, scallion, and lime zest mixture.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Christopher Blair
    Christopher Blair
  • TiffayNay

Recipe by: meganvt01


3 Reviews

Christopher B. November 11, 2023
Great taste profile; crowd pleaser. Fairly easy to prep and cook. Close to serving it only takes a few minutes to cook . Rice can be made ahead (don't forget to wash the rice). My sake had gone by; I substituted dry vermouth.
TiffayNay June 24, 2015
I tried this recipe last night. It turned out great! My husband cleaned the plate. The ginger and citrus flavor were so refreshing and the chile ( I used purée because I couldn't find fresh) gave it a nice kick! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!
AntoniaJames January 16, 2015
Whoa. Simply perfect. On the menu this weekend. ;o)