Steamed Tilapia Chinese-Viet Style – Ca Ro Phi Hap Gung

My recipe for spicy steamed tilapia is a merge of Vietnamese and Chinese style.

My friend, Liang Hou, originally from Beijing, introduced me to Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce for Seafood and I got hooked on it ever since.Revised: 3/11/2017

I redo the pictorial to show my full version of how I make this steamed tilapia. You can steam it simply without the bean thread and black fungus to give the fish texture more flavor. The bean thread sucks up the sauce so it may be salty but we don’t eat the noodles by itself, but together with a bit of rice and fish to balance out the taste in each bite.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


1 medium/large tilapia (about 2 to 2.5 lb)

1 bunch of scallion

1 chunky piece of ginger (about 3 inch long)

pinch of salt (less than 1/8 tsp)

1 tsp minced garlic (optional)

black pepper to taste

1 tsp Huy Phong’s sriracha

3-4 Tbsp of Lee Kum Kee’s Seafood Soysauce

1 Tbsp Viet Huong fish sauce

*1 pouch of bean thread or glass noodles

*3-5 pieces of dried black fungus



1.  Scale, clean, and gut the tilapia. Cut fish in half IF it doesn’t fit into the steamer. Rub the fish with a pinch of salt. Set aside. My edited full version used a smaller fish so I didn’t need to cut it in half this time.

Cut a slit on the fish body on both sides.

This is a great teaching moment with my little chef as she observed me clean the fish. I grew up watching my mom buying the fresh live fish at the Vietnamese markets and I never like cooking or eating packaged frozen fish.

2.  Soak the bean thread and black fungus in luke warm water separately for about 10 minutes.
3.  Julienne the black fungus and ginger root (slicing it into thin strips).  Chop the scallions into short 1-inch lengths. Layer a deep dish with the bean thread, half portion of scallion, and black fungus.  Mix the soy sauce, fish sauce, black pepper, spriracha, and minced garlic together in a little bowl.
3.   Next, put the fish on the next layer.
4.  Then add the remaining ingredients on top. Remember to stuff the belly with ginger and scallion too.
5.  Drizzle the soy sauce mixture over the fish.
6.  I filled the base of my steamer with water about 3 inches high. Steam on high for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!  This steamed tilapia is great with steamed rice and a side of vegetables.  This time, I ate it with my homemade Korean radish and cabbage kim chi.

Check out my pictorial recipe for radish kim chi here.

My very first attempt steaming the fish with Lee Kum Kee’s Soy Sauce for Seafood by itself wasn’t flavorful enough.  My husband had to mix pure fish sauce with sriracha on a side to dip the fish in; thus, resulting in this recipe where I combined everything together.

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