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Chinoy Chef’s Recipe: Steamed Pampano with Goji Berries

With Chinese New Year (CNY)  fast approaching, there are a lot of things to prepare for the celebration. Have you thought about what to cook? Chinoy Chef Nathaniel Uy offers an amazing original CNY recipe to try: Steamed Pampano with Goji Berries. 

“Being a foodie and a chef, I love how food plays a huge part in Chinoy culture,” he said. “We show our love, care, and affection through the food we cook. Hence, what we serve during CNY or any other occasion must have meaning and symbolism. This is something I want to impart to people, that cooking is not just for food or to be fed. Rather, cooking is deeply rooted in our culture. It has meaning, and it is ever-evolving.”

Although he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication from De La Salle University, his passion has always been about food. Unable to quench his love for food, he enrolled in the International School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management (ISCAHM) where he graduated with 3rd place honors and received a bronze medal at a school cooking competition. He completed a Restaurant Entrepreneurship course, took up several other short courses from various schools and founded and managed two businesses, The Hungry Chef and Meatsumo Premium Panay

Compared to the classic Chinese dish, Steamed Fish, Uy created a CNY twist so that it’s fit for any lauriat.

First, is that I wanted to add something red to the dish, because we are celebrating CNY, and the dish needed something red to make it look auspicious,” Uy shared. “Secondly, goji berries are known to improve vision, renal functions, and more importantly, enrich “yin,” which helps with lung function, especially now we are in a pandemic that affects the lungs.”

Here’s the recipe for the healthy and festive dish, Steamed Pampano with Goji Berries:



Steamed Pampano

Fresh Pampano

Chinese cooking wine

Soy sauce

White sugar


Cilantro stems, minced

Garlic, grated

Leeks (white part), sliced

Goji berries

Sesame oil or scallion oil



1. Steam the cleaned Pampano over boiling water for about 10 minutes with Chinese cooking wine.

2. In a separate pot, boil the soy sauce, water, sugar, salt, garlic, and leeks. Adjust to preferred taste. Add cilantro in last.

3. After 10 minutes, the fish will produce a fishy liqueur. Discard this.

4. Add prepared sauce and goji berries on top of the fish, and continue steaming for 10 more minutes.

5. Heat sesame oil or scallion oil in a pan.

6. Once fish is cooked, scald the top of the fish with heated oil.

7. Garnish with the green part of the leeks.


Want a variety of dishes for your CNY festivities? Check out more Chinoy chefs’ recipes, such as Kung Pao Chicken Pasta, Chicken Miso Katsu, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies, and Super Duper Adobo.

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