How To Steam Fish Without A Steamer (2 Best Ways)

Simmering fish is an excellent way to retain its natural flavor and nutrients without damaging its elegant composition or ratcheting up the calories. The simplest means to simmer a fresh fish dinner to ideal form is to place it in a steamer oven. 

Things could get dicey, however, if you don’t have those convenient appliances. You can effortlessly rig up your substitute steamer utilizing only a regular pot or pan, a cooking ring or steamer basket, and a couple of cups of water.

Do you want to know how to steam fish without a steamer? Tag along with me.

How to Steam Fish Without a Steamer (2 Best Ways)

In this short article, we will only discuss two ways to do it. Let’s move ei?

1. Using a Heat-Proof Plate and Cooking Ring

Step 1

Position a stainless steel cooking ring in the middle of a shallow pot. 

A cooking ring is a little molded metal ring that is usually utilized in cooking diverse foods in a neat circular form. 

When positioned at the underside of your pot, still, it will operate as a buffer between the boiling water you’ll be using to simmer your fish and the plate you’ll be steaming it on.

Ensure you utilize a pot sufficiently deep to maintain the cooking ring and steamer plate with the lid on.

It’s significant that the cooking ring you utilize is created with metal. Plastic rings will dissolve and blend into your pot in a heartbeat!

If you don’t possess a cooking ring, you might also utilize a giant cookie cutter or identical food-shaping utensil, so long as it’s also created from stainless steel.

NOTE! Assuming you don’t own a cooking ring or a cookie cutter, another thing you can do is rumple 3-4 portions of aluminum foil into 2 balls and use them to improve your steamer plate.

Step 2

Put about 2 inches (5.1 cm) of water into the pot. 

You may have to utilize more or less water, depending on the magnitude of your pot and cooking ring. The water should rise to just below the height of the ring, cookie cutter, or aluminum foil balls.

Ensure the water level isn’t higher than the ends of your steamer plate. Otherwise, you may inadvertently end up bubbling your fish instead.

Step 3

Fix a heat-safe plate tinier than your pot on the cooking ring. 

Position the plate at the center, on top of the cooking ring or foil balls, to confirm that it’s secure. It needs to be able to strengthen the weight of the fish you’ll be steaming without toppling.

If you’re unsure whether the plate you want to utilize is heat-safe, examine the bottom for the words “Heat-Safe” or “Microwave-Safe,” or an emblem with three wavy lines in a little microwave.

These days though, most kinds of brand-name dining ware are heat-safe.

Step 4

Switch on the cooktop to medium-high heat and carry the water to a low boil. 

You can spice your fish or manage other dishes you’re making while waiting for your water to warm. When steam starts escaping slowly from the pot, it will be okay to put in your fish.

Bring it down just a bit when the water gets to a rolling boil to save it from bubbling up onto your steamer plate.

Step 5

Put your fish on the steamer plate. 

Lower the fish onto the plate promptly and carefully. It should be okay to do that by hand, but you can also utilize a pair of tongs if you’re fearful about being scorched by the steam, which should be drifting about freely by now. 

Create at least 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) space between each chunk to curb sticking or unequal heating.

Disperse the weight of your fish evenly around the center of the plate—this will hinder it from tilting or moving off of the cooking ring.

Your steamer plate will most probably only fit 2-4 whole fish or fillets. If you want to steam a substantial amount of fish, it might be unavoidable to do so in batches.

Step 6

Close the pot and simmer the fish for 5-7 minutes. 

That should be adequate time for little fish and fillets to attain an accurate tender texture. You’ll discern your fish is done when it’s gotten an opaque tinge and is sensitive enough to flake with a fork.

Particularly big or thick slices, like tuna or swordfish steaks, may require closer to 10 or 12 minutes to boil all the way through.

Fix a timer so you won’t accidentally neglect your fish if you get occupied doing other things.

Step 7

Take the plate from your steamer arrangement with a potholder or oven mitt. 

It will be exceptionally hot, so be cautious. Position the plate on a heat-resistant surface and take the fish while it’s delightful and hot. 

Before plating the surplus juice from your steamed fish, be sure to sift it.

You can also conserve the juices and gush them back over the fish to reincorporate them or make them into a savory sauce.

2. Using a Steamer Basket

Step 1

Organize your fish in your steamer basket. 

When you have spiced up your whole fish or fillets to taste, position them on the underside of the basket in an individual layer. Put at least 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) of space between each fish slice to avoid sticking or uneven heating.

You can select stainless steel, silicone, or bamboo steamer basket from any home goods shop for as small as $20. 

They significantly improve any kitchen, mainly if steaming is among your chosen cooking methods.

If you’re utilizing a bamboo basket, lay a piece of parchment paper or lettuce, cabbage, or banana leaves on the bottom surface before putting in your fish. 

This will restrain it from sticking to the moist wood.

Step 2

Ideally, the water should be 2.5–5.1, but you’re free to add more or less water as required.

Just be sure that the water level stays below the lowest edge of your steamer basket, so it doesn’t overfill your fish.

If your steaming water even touches your fish, it could make it soggy or even cause it to collapse.

NOTE! For even more aroma, you also have the alternative of utilizing other kinds of liquids for your steaming, such as broths, stocks, and cooking wines.

Step 3

Set the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Position the pot on the cooktop and turn on the burner.

Let the water warm up for 5-6 minutes, or as long as required to get a full boil. You want it to give off a massive curtain of steam by the time you put in your fish.

Decrease your cooking temperature to a soft boil if space inside your pot is hindered.

Step 4

Place the steamer basket inside the pot. 

Most steamer baskets are built to slip right into any pot with a bigger diameter. Some even have ranges that enable them to be latched onto the rim of a pot or pan, confirming that they stay put and hover well over the boiling water.

Dip the steamer basket hastily to reduce the danger of burns. Just be cautious not to dip the basket or the fish itself, as this could propel boiling water, sending it everywhere!

You may have a simpler time obtaining a bamboo steamer basket in and out of a light sauté pan or wok, which is how they’re typically utilized.

Step 5

Set the pot up tight. Position the lid on top of the pot and double-check that it’s steady. 

If it’s even a little ajar, some of the steam may come out, reducing the temperature inside the pot and heightening your cook time.

You should be able to say immediately if steam is fleeing from the pot.

Step 6

Simmer the fish for 5-7 minutes. 

Be ready to provide thick, packed fillets and steaks slightly longer, up to 10-12 minutes.

Fully cooked fish will change to an opaque color all the way through and bend easily with a fork. If you like, you can raise the lid on the pot just for some moments to survey your fish’s progress.

Investing in a collapsible steamer basket with a built-in grip will render removing your complete foods a breeze.

One of the most significant benefits of steaming over other cooking means is that even if you accidentally cook your fish too much, it won’t dry out or forfeit any of its delicious juices.

Step 7

Utilize a potholder or oven mitt to safely remove your steamer basket from the pot. 

Let the basket relax on a heat-resistant countertop or related surface until you’re prepared to plate the fish. Most steamer baskets are slotted, so there would be no need to drip them before eating. 

Bon appétit!

It’s an excellent suggestion to utilize your potholder or oven mitt to remove the lid from off of the pot, too, since it will have assimilated quite a little heat.

Oven mitts with single-finger slots are flawlessly suited for tasks like this that need a little more agility.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you steam in a rice cooker?

Yes, of course, you can.

If your rice cooker possesses a steam basket, this handy function enables you to borrow this useful appliance for more than cooking rice. 

With this characteristic, you can steam tender and delicious fish and vegetables at a similar time as your rice to conserve time and counter space.

How long does it take for fish to steam?

It takes 4 to 8 minutes for a fish to steam.

How do you use a rice cooker as a steamer?

Place the fish in a pan with cold salted water. 

Position the fish plate on the roof of the pan and the pan cover on top of the container to enclose the fish. 

The heat of the plate is your unplanned steamer. Set the pan to a boil and steam for around 5 to 8 minutes or until the fish IS cooked.

How do you know when steamed fish is done?

The best way to know if your fish is cooked enough is by checking it with a fork at a position, at the largest point, and twisting softly. 

The fish will flake effortlessly when finished, and it will forfeit its translucent or raw impression. 

An excellent rule of thumb is to simmer the fish to an inner temperature of 140-145 degrees.

Can you steam fish For Too long?

Steam broils the fish delicately. It’s always clammy, even if you overcook it a bit.

How long does it take to steam a 2 lb fish?

It takes 25 minutes to steam a 2 IB fish.

Which fish is good for steaming?

The most delicate fishes for steaming are the kinds that are slim, flat, and hold up well when simmered.

Fish like Tilapia, cod, and red snapper are the best fit for this method, which is also one of the healthiest methods, as little if any fat is needed in the cooking procedure.


You can add some quick-and-easy simmered veggies as a healthful side dish by tossing in some broccoli, green beans, asparagus, mixed greens, whole new potatoes, or other options in the steamer for some minutes before putting in your fish. 

Don’t overlook accounting for the various cook times these items will require. Steaming veggies, like fish, can also be accomplished without a steamer if you’d like.

I hope you found this article on how to steam a fish with the steamer helpful, hope to see you again.

Thank you for reading!