Chinese Steamed Sea Bass Recipe: A Delicious and Healthy Dish – Seaco Online
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Chinese Steamed Sea Bass Recipe: A Delicious and Healthy Dish

If you're looking for a delicious, easy-to-make recipe that's perfect for special occasions or family dinners, Chinese steamed sea bass is a great option. This dish is not only healthy, but it also symbolizes prosperity and wealth in Chinese culture, making it a popular choice for celebrations.

A whole sea bass steaming in a bamboo steamer with ginger, scallions, and soy sauce. The steam rising from the fish as it cooks

Choosing the right sea bass is important for this recipe. You can either buy fresh fillets from a trusted fishmonger or use flash-frozen fish from the supermarket. If you're lucky enough to live near the ocean, you can also use delicate fresh-caught fish like fluke or flounder, black seabass or blackfish. You can also propose the use of other seafood like salmon or cod, which can be used as substitutes for sea bass.

Essential ingredients for this recipe include ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. If you don't have these ingredients on hand, you can use substitutes like garlic, scallions, or oyster sauce. Once you have your ingredients, preparing the sea bass involves descaling and seasoning it with salt, and then steaming it for 15-20 minutes. After it's cooked, you can serve it with garnishes like coriander or chilli and enjoy a delicious, healthy meal.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese steamed sea bass is an easy and delicious dish that's perfect for special occasions or family dinners.
  • Choosing the right sea bass and essential ingredients like ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil are important for this recipe.
  • Once you have your ingredients, preparing and steaming the sea bass is easy and can be served with garnishes like coriander or chilli.

Choosing the Right Sea Bass

A whole sea bass resting on a bed of ginger and scallions, surrounded by a steaming basket and traditional Chinese serving dishes

When it comes to making a delicious Chinese steamed sea bass, choosing the right fish is essential. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your sea bass.

Whole Fish vs Fillets

When it comes to steaming sea bass, you have the option of using a whole fish or fillets. While fillets are easier to work with and don't have bones, using a whole fish can add more flavour to your dish. If you prefer to use a whole fish, make sure to ask your fishmonger to clean and scale it for you.

Freshness Check

When selecting your sea bass, make sure to check its freshness. Look for clear eyes, bright red gills, and shiny skin. If the fish smells fishy, it is not fresh. It is also important to note that sea bass can be quite expensive, so make sure to choose a fish that fits your budget.

If you are unable to find sea bass, other types of white fish such as cod or haddock can be used as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the flavour may be slightly different.

When it comes to seafood, it is always best to choose fresh and sustainable options. If you have access to a local fishmonger or fish market, they may be able to provide you with more information on the sustainability of the seafood they sell.

Essential Ingredients and Substitutes

A whole sea bass, ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and rice wine on a bamboo steamer, with bowls of garlic and chili

When it comes to making a delicious Chinese steamed sea bass recipe, there are a few essential ingredients that you simply cannot do without. Here are some of the key ingredients that you'll need to make this dish, along with a few substitutes that you can use if you don't have them on hand.

Aromatics and Seasonings

One of the key components of any good Chinese steamed sea bass recipe is the use of aromatics and seasonings. Ginger, garlic and spring onions are all essential ingredients that add flavour and depth to the dish. If you don't have fresh ginger, you can use ground ginger as a substitute. Similarly, if you don't have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder instead.

Sauces for Flavour

Soy sauce is another essential ingredient that adds flavour to the dish. It provides a salty and umami taste that complements the delicate flavour of the sea bass. Oyster sauce is another sauce that you can use to add depth of flavour to the dish. If you don't have oyster sauce, you can use hoisin sauce or soy sauce as a substitute.

To add a touch of sweetness to the dish, you can use sugar or mirin. Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine that is often used in Japanese and Chinese cooking. If you don't have mirin, you can use honey or brown sugar instead.

Vegetable oil or olive oil can be used to coat the fish before steaming. Sesame oil can also be used to add a nutty flavour to the dish. Coriander is an optional ingredient that can be used to garnish the dish and add a fresh herbaceous flavour.

Seafood such as prawns and scallops can also be used in this recipe to add variety and depth of flavour. Prawns can be added to the steamer basket along with the sea bass, while scallops can be steamed separately and added to the dish as a garnish.

Preparing the Sea Bass

Sea bass on a bed of ginger and scallions, steaming in a bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water

Before cooking the sea bass, it is important to clean and marinate it properly to ensure that it is flavourful and tender. Here are some steps to follow:

Cleaning and Scoring

First, clean the sea bass by removing the scales, gutting it and removing the gills. Rinse it well with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Then, score the fish by making shallow cuts on both sides of the fish. This will help the marinade penetrate the flesh of the fish more easily.

Marinating

Next, marinate the sea bass by rubbing it with salt and white pepper. Then, stuff the cavity of the fish with sliced ginger and scallions. You can also add other aromatics such as lemongrass, garlic or chillies, depending on your preference.

After that, pour some soy sauce over the fish and rub it in. Cover the fish with cling film and marinate it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. This will allow the flavours to infuse into the fish.

If you prefer to use other types of seafood, you can substitute the sea bass with other white fish such as cod, haddock or halibut. Prawns, scallops or squid can also be used in this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

By following these simple steps, you can prepare the sea bass for steaming and ensure that it is flavourful and tender.

Steaming the Sea Bass

The sea bass is placed on a bed of ginger and scallions, with steam rising from the pot, creating a mouthwatering aroma

When it comes to steaming the sea bass, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that the fish is cooked to perfection. Here are some tips on how to steam your sea bass:

Setting up the Steamer

First, you need to set up your steamer. You can use a bamboo steamer or a metal steamer basket. If you're using a bamboo steamer, make sure to line it with parchment paper to prevent the fish from sticking. If you're using a metal steamer basket, make sure to grease it with oil to prevent the fish from sticking.

Next, fill a wok or a large pot with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil. Place the steaming rack in the wok or pot and make sure it's level.

Steaming Time and Techniques

Once the water is boiling, place the sea bass on the steaming rack. Cover the steamer with a lid and steam the fish for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.

When steaming the sea bass, it's important to keep the heat high and the lid on the steamer. This will ensure that the fish is cooked evenly and retains its moisture.

You can also add some aromatics to the steaming water to infuse the fish with flavour. Try adding some sliced ginger, garlic, or lemongrass to the water before steaming.

Seafood lovers can also use other types of fish for this recipe. For example, you can use flounder, black seabass, or blackfish. Make sure to adjust the steaming time according to the size of the fish.

Following the above tips will help you to steam your sea bass perfectly every time.

Serving and Garnishing

A steamed sea bass lies on a platter, surrounded by vibrant green scallions, ginger slices, and drizzled with a glistening soy sauce

Accompaniments

When serving Chinese steamed sea bass, it is important to have the right accompaniments to enhance the flavour of the dish. Steamed white rice is a classic and perfect choice to serve with the fish. It will absorb the delicious sauce that forms during steaming.

If you want to add more vegetables to your meal, pak choi is an excellent choice to serve alongside the fish. It is a popular Chinese vegetable that has a slightly sweet taste and a tender texture. You can steam it along with the fish in the same steamer basket.

Final Touches

To add more flavour and visual appeal to your dish, garnishing is an essential final touch. A popular choice is to use chopped coriander or cilantro, which adds a fresh and fragrant taste to the dish.

You can also use thinly sliced spring onions to garnish the fish. It adds a mild onion flavour and a pop of colour to the dish. If you like spicy food, you can add some sliced red chilli or chilli flakes for some heat.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try adding other seafood to the dish. Fresh prawns or scallops can be steamed alongside the sea bass to create a delicious seafood medley. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the type of seafood you choose.

Overall, serving and garnishing your Chinese steamed sea bass dish is all about adding the right accompaniments and final touches to enhance the flavour and appearance of the dish. With these tips, you can create a delicious and visually appealing meal that is sure to impress your guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

A whole sea bass steaming in a bamboo basket, surrounded by traditional Chinese ingredients like ginger, scallions, and soy sauce

What's the ideal time to steam sea bass for perfect texture?

The ideal time to steam sea bass for perfect texture is around 10-15 minutes. However, the exact time can vary depending on the size and thickness of the fillet. It's important to keep an eye on the fish while it's steaming to ensure it doesn't overcook and become dry.

Can you suggest a good substitute for sea bass in a steamed fish recipe?

If you can't find sea bass, you can use other white, flaky fish such as cod, haddock, or halibut as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the texture and flavour may be slightly different.

Is it necessary to wash sea bass prior to steaming it?

Yes, it's necessary to wash sea bass prior to steaming it. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that may be on the fish and ensure that it's clean before cooking.

Could you walk me through steaming sea bass with ginger and spring onions?

To steam sea bass with ginger and spring onions, first, clean and scale the fish properly. Then, season the fillet with salt and pepper. Place the seasoned fillet on a plate and top it with sliced ginger and spring onions. Steam the fish for around 10-15 minutes or until it's cooked through. Once done, remove the plate from the steamer and discard the liquid that will have formed and also the flavouring ingredients. Garnish with additional sliced ginger, spring onions, and coriander leaves if desired.

What's the secret to getting that authentic Chinese flavour in steamed sea bass?

The secret to getting that authentic Chinese flavour in steamed sea bass is to use traditional Chinese seasonings such as soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. These ingredients will help to infuse the fish with a delicious umami flavour that is characteristic of Chinese cuisine.

How can I adapt a Chinese steamed sea bass recipe for cooking in an oven?

To adapt a Chinese steamed sea bass recipe for cooking in an oven, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the seasoned fish fillet on a sheet of foil and top it with sliced ginger and spring onions. Fold the foil to create a sealed packet and bake the fish for around 15-20 minutes or until it's cooked through. Serve with additional soy sauce and steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

If you're looking to experiment with different types of seafood, you can try using other white, flaky fish such as snapper, tilapia or even prawns in your steamed fish recipe. Just keep in mind that the cooking time will vary depending on the type and size of the seafood you choose.