College Cooking: Steamed Salmon with Rice

Eliot Gentiluomo/ The Watchdog

This is my version of the traditional Chinese dish of steamed fish. It’s a very simple and easy dish to make. Normally, a whole fish is steamed over a flavorful sauce and served with rice and other vegetable side dishes. It’s always better to use fresh fish, and here in the Pacific Northwest, salmon is a common favorite. I used a half-pound filet of sockeye salmon. For a small twist, I decided to combine the vegetables and fish into one pot and see how it went. It turned out very well because the veggies were seasoned the same way as the fish. It also eliminated the need for a steaming basket, which with fish can be a real pain to clean afterwards. Also, this flavorful dish can be made with any fish you fancy. The amount of time needed to steam the fish might have to be adjusted to ensure the fish gets cooked but not overdone. With the salmon filet, it took me about 30 minutes total to make the meal, including preparing the rice.


  • Salmon
  • 1 head of a small cabbage
  • 1 4oz can shiitake mushroom without liquid
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • Rice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper
required ingredients


1. Make rice according to packaging. The cook time and the ratio of rice to water will depend on the type of rice you choose to cook and if you are doing it on the stove or with a rice cooker.

2. Cut cabbage in half, remove stem from both halves, then slice.

3. Peel and mince garlic.

4. Lightly season salmon with a little salt, pepper, and a little extra ground ginger to taste.

5. Add sesame oil and garlic to pan and cook for a minute over medium heat. Make sure to not burn the garlic.

6. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, water, and dried ginger. Bring to a low boil.

7. Once at a boil, make sure it is steaming a lot, add cabbage.

8. Place the salmon on top of the cabbage and cover.

9. Let cook for about 8-10 minutes until the salmon is fully cooked through. Make sure to not overcook the salmon. Salmon is done when it is no longer a dark red and more a light pink and flaky at the thickest point.

10. Remove salmon from pot and mix the cabbage with sauce at the bottom of the pan to make sure cabbage is fully cooked and covered in sauce.

Serve alongside rice and enjoy!

All photos by Eliot Gentiluomo / the Watchdog.