Steamed Whole Pearl Perch with Chilli Cucumber Salad

Recipes | Steaming | Whole Fish Serves 2 Steamed Whole Pearl Perch with Chilli Cucumber Salad

Pearl Perch is the east coast relative of the much-acclaimed West Australian Dhufish. Caught between Rockhampton and Sydney, it has thick, moist, flesh with a sweet, delicate flavour and is an excellent fish for steaming.


1 x 800g Pearl Perch, scaled, gilled and gutted
¼ cup coriander leaves 
Steamed jasmine rice, to serve 
Steamed snow peas or sugar snap peas, topped and tailed, to serve

Chilli Cucumber Salad
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
2 limes, juiced 
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeded and finely sliced
2 golden shallots, finely sliced
1 medium-sized red chilli, sliced into rings
¼ cup mint leaves, roughly chopped


Half fill a wok or large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. 

Rinse the belly cavity of the fish, rub away any black lining and pat dry with paper towel. Cut several deep slashes into the thickest part of both sides of the fish.

Place a plate in a steamer basket, or line with baking paper. Place the fish in the steamer. Place steamer over wok or saucepan, cover and steam for about 16 minutes until the fish is opaque and flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork. 

Meanwhile, make the Chilli Cucumber Salad: combine fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice, stir well to dissolve palm sugar. Taste and add a little more sauce, sugar or juice to suit your taste, it should taste salty, sweet and sour. Add the cucumber, shallots, chilli and mint and chill until ready to serve. 

Remove fish from the steamer, discarding any cooking liquid, and place on a serving platter. Scatter coriander leaves over the fish and spoon the salad around it. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and peas.

Alternative species:

Barramundi, Coral Trout, Morwong, Murray Cod, West Australian Dhufish, or any of the Bream species.

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