Chinese steamed sea bass, a steamed fish dish that’s light and healthy also quick to prepare and cook.
Chinese steamed sea bass is a favourite meal of mine, full of flavour but requiring little in the way of effort. However, as regular readers of our blog will know, one of us does not eat fish! In my continuing efforts to get Michelle to eat more fish, I got to thinking about the fish dishes that I really enjoy myself. This recipe sprung immediately to mind.
I spent a long time working in China some years back. Food was always served banquet style, plates of food laid in the centre of the table, allowing us all to share. We were usually sat around a large round table with numerous dishes to be shared amongst all those dining. I worked beside the ocean therefore we ate a lot of seafood that we selected from tanks built along the walls. One dish we ordered regularly, was a whole fish simply steamed with ginger, garlic, spring onion and chilli. The fish was then covered with a warm soy dressing and served whole. Indeed I still cook fish this way at home. However if you don’t have a bamboo steamer simply cook it en papilotte (in a paper parcel) as we’ve done in our recipe.
I can’t select my fresh fish from tanks here in Scotland. However I do recommend asking your fishmonger to scale, gut and remove the fins from your fish. So what was the verdict on this particular recipe? Michelle cooked the same fish for her family at the weekend, a result I think! We have used seabass but you could use bream, or any similar type white fish. This dish works well served with our Stir-fried Pak Choy and some steamed rice.
Chinese Steamed Sea Bass
- 1 whole seabass - or similar type fish, scaled and gutted
- 2.5 cm fresh root ginger - julienned
- 1 red finger chilli - de-seeded and julienned
- 3 spring onions - sliced
- 2 tbsp light soy
- 1 tsp dark soy
- 1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil - substitute with sunflower oil if you have a peanut allergy
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Wash and dry the fish thoroughly and score three deep diagonal cuts down each side of the fillet. Place the fish on a tray lined with a large sheet of parchment paper (ensuring it is a large enough piece to fold up to make a parcel).
- Place half of the ginger, chilli and spring onion within the cavity of the fish and take the remaining vegetables and tuck them into the cuts and sprinkle over the top of the fish. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the fish.
- Fold up the parcel taking care to ensure the paper is not touching the top of the fish. There needs to be space at the top of the parcel to allow the fish to steam.
- Place the tray in the oven at 180CFan and cook the fish for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, open the parcel and serve immediately.