Steamed Fish with Quinoa, Spinach and Basil – Dani Valent

This healthy, tasty, gluten-free dinner is so easy in the Thermomix, using the steamer basket and Varoma steaming compartment to create a layered complete meal. Iridescent basil oil, gently warmed in the Thermomix, lifts this dish with colour and flavour. I’ve used dory fillet, but you can also use a small whole fish or other preferred fillets such as salmon or flathead.

thermomix recipe by Dani Valent fish

Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

Steamed fish with quinoa, spinach and basil

Serves 2 – 4


For basil oil

  • 2 bunches basil (about 200 g)
  • 200 g rice bran oil

For the fish, quinoa and spinach

  • 300 g quinoa
  • 300 g baby spinach
  • 400-800 g fish fillets (200 grams per person)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, flesh removed and skin finely diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste


For basil oil

  1. Place basil, including stems, and oil into Thermomix bowl and blend for 30 sec/speed 9. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula. Heat for 8 min/60ºC/speed 1.
  2. Line the Thermomix steamer basket with two layers of kitchen paper. Suspend basket over a larger bowl or jug. Pour basil oil onto kitchen paper and allow it to strain through for at least 1 hour. Place into a jar and store in the refrigerator. Basil pulp can be used in pesto.

For the fish, quinoa and spinach

  1. Soak quinoa for 10 minutes in cold water, then drain, rinse and drain again. Place in Thermomix steamer basket.
  2. Weigh 600 g of water into Thermomix bowl. Set steamer basket with quinoa into the Thermomix bowl.
  3. Place spinach in Varoma and fish on Varoma tray. Season fish with salt and pepper. Steam for 12 min/Varoma/speed 2.
  4. Remove spinach into a colander and set aside to drain, squeezing excess water.
  5. Steam fish and quinoa for a further 6 min/Varoma/speed 2. Check if fish is cooked and set aside to rest. (If not cooked, cook for a further 2 min/Varoma/speed 2.)
  6. Remove quinoa. Turn into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, toss with chilli flakes, tomatoes and preserved lemon. Season to taste.
  7. Tip water from mixing bowl and add spinach. Blitz for 2 sec/speed 8, then scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula and repeat until spinach is smooth.
  8. Arrange fish, quinoa and spinach on a platter and drizzle with basil oil.

To serve: This dish can be served platter-style for sharing, or plated individually.

Tip: Remaining basil oil can be used in salad dressing, mayonnaise and drizzled over soup and risotto.

I love recipes like this that use the Thermomix to its full capacity. What complete meals have you made in yours? Let me know in the comments below.


First published in The Age, 29th March, 2016.

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