Thai Inspired Steamed Fish with Lime Juice and Chilis

A super flavorful steamed halibut with lots of fresh garlic, chili, lime juice, and cilantro!

This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite dishes to order in a Thai restaurant; plaa neung manao. A steaming hot, usually whole, fish comes to the table bathed in tangy lime, fish sauce, chili, and garlic sauce. It’s so good! This at-home version is very easy to make you have to give it a try!

Ingredients in this recipe→

Halibut: I love halibut but any white fish will do. You will need to adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness of the fish you use. You can use two filets or one large piece.

Thai Chilis: This recipe technically calls for Thai chilis, but I struggle to find them unless I’m at an Asian market. Feel free to use serrano chilis instead.

Fish Sauce: A staple ingredient in Thai and Southeast Asian cooking. It’s a sweet, salty, kinda funky fermented fish condiment full of umami flavor! Get my favorite brand here.

Recipe Steps→

My Fish Steaming Technique→

I personally don’t own a steamer basket, bamboo or otherwise. Instead, I create a steamer in a pot or pan with a tight-fitting lid. To do this chop up some lemongrass stalks and place them in the bottom of the pan, then pour enough water over them to just barely cover. Add a lid and bring the water to a simmer. Place the fish on top of the lemongrass, cover, and steam for 7-10 minutes.

If you have a steamer insert you can disregard this step and just use that. Totally up to you!

Steamed Halibu in a white serving dish with garlic-lime sauce and rice noodles

Thai Inspired Steamed Fish with Lime Juice and Chilis

A super flavorful steamed halibut with lots of fresh garlic, chili, lime juice, and cilantro!
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 259kcal


  • 2 8oz portions of halibut
  • 3 green onions green parts only, thinly sliced on a diagonal (for serving)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • cooked rice noodles for serving


  • 1 Thai chilis or 1/2 a serrano chili thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 c lime juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar


  • In the bottom of a pan with a tight-fitting lid, create a platform for the fish to sit on with stalks of lemongrass. Cut the lemongrass into thirds and place them on the bottom of the pan. Pour enough water into the pan to just barely cover the lemongrass. Put the lid on and bring to a simmer. Place the halibut on top of the lemongrass, cover with a lid. Steam for 7-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.
  • In the meantime whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  • To serve, divide the fish between bowls, top with the chili-lime sauce, torn cilantro, and chopped green onion. Serve with rice noodles or steamed rice.


This recipe should be prepared just before serving. Unfourtnalty, it just doesn’t keep well or hold up to storing for meal prep.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 2282mg | Potassium: 1170mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 637IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Share a picture on Instagram and tag me: @Craving_California and use the hashtag: #CravingCalifornia!
steamed fish on a black plate covered in cilantro and scallions with sauce on the side

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