Steamed Asian Sea Bass in the bag

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February 1, 2013 by dgarnett2013

Steamed Asian Sea Bass in the bag: Jamie Oliver (magazine clipping)


Good with Green Papaya Salad & Fragrant Rice.

Serves Two:

  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1-2 red chillies, to taste, seeded and chopped
  • Small tab freshly grated ginger
  • Handful of coriander, leaves picked and stalks reserved, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tab light soy sauce
  • 1 lime, zested and halved
  • 2 tab olive oil
  • 2 thick fillets of sea bass – about 200 g each
  • 1 egg white
  • Small wine glass of sake

Preheat oven to 220 C. Take the top shelf out of the oven and put baking tray on middle shelf.

Tear off a meter of kichen foil, fold it in half so it is double thickness, then fold in half again. Make two of these – one to hold one piece of fish.

In a pestle and mortar, bash lime leaves until they break down and all the flavour comes out. Then add the lemon grass and do the same again.

Do this for a couple of minutes. Then add the garlic, chilli, grated ginger and all the coriandar stalks. Once this is all smashed to a pulp, add the soy sauce, the lime zest and juice and the olive oil. Mix well, then taste and correct the seasoning with extra soy sauce as you see fit.

Lightly score the sea bass on the skin side with a sharp knife and rub in the lime-ginger-lemon grass mix. Allow to marinate for an hour if you have time or you can cook it straight away.

Lightly brush the foil edges with a little beaten egg white. This helps to seal the parcel when you fold it up and keeps all the flavoured steam inside to cook the fish.

Put the portions of sea bass, skin side up on one side of each envelope. Divide the marinade and all the juice between the two packages and tuck some coriander into the slits of each piece of fish.

Fold over the foil, then fold up two sides of the envelopes securely.

Just before you seal the final side of the foil bags, divide the sake between the two envelopes, take care so that it doesn’t dribble out.

Pucker and bend the folded sides so that the juices can’t cook out, but don’t fold the foil right up to the edge of the fish – leave about 2 inches of space all round the fillets to let the steam circulate.


Place straight on to a hot tray and cook for about 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Once cooked allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.

Serve the bags at the table – just cut them open and carefully lift out the fish. You can spoon the juices over, but don’t eat the bits from the marinade.

Serve with bowl of coriander flavoured rice or noodles.

Made at Hanham on a crisp February day.


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