Steamed Tilapia with Sesame Seeds, Ginger and Green Onion

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The sesame seeds featured here provide calcium, vitamin E and amino acids—plus a rich, nutty flavor. If you like, serve this simple dish with cooked greens and steamed short-grain brown rice to soak up the delicious juices.


  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds 
  • Vegetable oil for oiling dish
  • 1 1/2 lb. tilapia or snapper fillet, cut into 4 pieces 
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce 
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil 
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks 
  • 6 green onions, white portion only, slivered lengthwise  


In a dry fry pan over medium-high heat, toast the sesame seeds, shaking the pan frequently, until they are fragrant and pale golden brown. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Place a steamer insert in a large, wide pot with a lid. Fill the pot with water to just below the level of the insert. Lightly oil a heatproof dish that will fit inside the steamer (a 9-inch pie dish or cake pan works well for this). Place the fish in the dish, overlapping the pieces if necessary, and drizzle with the soy sauce and sesame oil.

Sprinkle the ginger and half of the green onions over the fish. Set the dish in the steamer insert and cover the pot. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and steam until the fish is opaque in the center, 10 to 12 minutes.

Carefully lift the dish from the pot and sprinkle the fish with the toasted sesame seeds and the remaining green onions. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).

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