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Steamed Salmon with Leeks, Shiitake, and Soy

Servings: 4

Steaming salmon with aromatic leeks, mushrooms, and garlic brings out the natural sweetness of the fish while keeping it moist and flavorful. Pouring hot sesame and peanut oils over the cooked fish is a classic Chinese technique that lightly glazes the salmon. Click here for a printable recipe card with wine pairing, from Columbia Winery.


  • 4 6-oz. boneless, skin-on salmon fillets (about 1-1/2 inches thick; preferably wild-caught)
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic (from 3 medium cloves)
  • 1/2 cup halved and very thinly sliced leeks (white part only), rinsed (from 1 large)
  • 2-1/2 oz. shiitake mushrooms (about 8 medium), stemmed and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 350
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 18
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 105
  • Sodium (mg): 560
  • Carbohydrates (g): 5
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 39


  • Rinse the salmon and pat completely dry. Put the fillets skin side down in a shallow, 9-inch-wide, heatproof bowl or baking dish and let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the salmon with the red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper, and then sprinkle with the garlic, leeks, and mushrooms, in that order.
  • Add enough water to a 14-inch flat-bottom wok (preferably well-seasoned carbon steel) to measure 3/4 inch deep.
  • Put a 12-inch bamboo steamer in the wok. Cover the steamer and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Uncover, and then carefully set the bowl of salmon in the steamer. Cover the steamer and steam until the fish is just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Check the outer pieces of salmon for doneness first by poking the thickest part with a chopstick or fork to see if it flakes. Using a spatula, transfer the outer pieces to a serving platter and continue to cook the inner two pieces for another 1 to 2 minutes, if necessary. Carefully remove the bowl from the wok and transfer the remaining salmon and any accumulated juice to the platter.
  • In a small skillet, heat the peanut and sesame oils over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Drizzle the salmon with the soy sauce, and then carefully pour the hot oil mixture over the fish—it’s likely to crackle and splatter a bit. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.

Serve with Triple-Sesame Jasmine Rice.


If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, set a round metal rack with legs at least 1-1/4-inches high (so it’s elevated above the water) in the wok, put the bowl of salmon on the rack, and then cover the wok with its lid.


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Reviews (9 reviews)

  • pokano | 11/30/2021

    Excellent dish! My father learned this technique back in the day from a Chinese friend, but he used it for whole rockfish. It never occurred to me to use salmon. I doubled the amount of mushrooms and used chopped green onion instead of parsley.

  • BeginnerCookLisa | 07/15/2020

    I am now the proud new owner of Chinese bamboo stacking steamer baskets bought specially for this recipe. I had the correct weight of salmon but my fillets were really thin so I cooked the shiitake and leeks (double the amount!) in a fry pan first and it worked really well. Because the fillets were thin I had to use two baskets one on top of the other and it worked just fine! I will make this again but, next time, I will put a bit of parchment paper down in the dish since the skin stuck to the bottom of the pan. I loved the sizzle and crackle pouring the oil mixture.... it added to the experience. I served it with https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/garlicky-stir-fried-eggplant, steamed sugar snap peas, and tricolor quinoa. I will do it again - it was easy!

  • lynnebair | 01/25/2019

    Really delicious and quite easy. You do have to have the ingredients, especially the leek and shiitakes, and get a steaming arrangement set up. But that it not hard either. Most interested home cooks do have soy and sesame oil already. I did exactly what the recipe said and it went like clockwork and was so good! Ill be doing this often.

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