Healthy Simple Oven Steamed Asian Seabass:
Do you ever get gadget envy? I know whenever I see a new kitchen gadget I want to try it. But, I also know that for the most part, I will use it once and then put it in the cupboard where it will gather dust. There are exceptions of course. I use my hand blender regularly and will replace it with a more up-to-date model from the same maker when it finally dies (it is over 20 years old). I use my fast-slow cooker, a kind of jumped up pressure cooker come slow cooker, which allows me to make stock in an hour, cook beans and pulses in minutes and even steam an artichoke in 15 minutes rather than the normal 45. But, when I have owned an electric steamer I really haven’t used it enough for it to qualify for worktop space. Despite the fact that I really love steamed Asian-style Seabass!
I do know though, that steaming fish is one of the healthiest ways to cook it. And that Asian style steamed fish is delicious. I was delighted to discover that it’s perfectly possible to steam food in the oven. It’s just a question of preparing the dish in the same way that you would do for a steamer, then parcelling up your fish in tinfoil on a roasting tray with a little stock or water. It works like a dream.
I made this oven steamed Asian sea-bass to showcase some Lee Kum Kee sauces that I was sent and based the recipe on Jamie Oliver’s version. I changed it up a bit by using Chiu Chow Chilli Oil from Lee Kum Kee rather than fresh chilli and adding garlic. I don’t like chopping and de-seeding chillis – and I find it difficult to judge the heat of those I buy from the supermarket. So, Chiu Chow Chilli Oil is easier and a little more reliable. You could leave out the chilli altogether if you were catering for someone who didn’t like heat. I also steamed my fish with mirin mixed into the lime juice, just because I like the fragrance. You could easily vary the ingredients, adding lemongrass perhaps or leaving out the garlic. It’s something of a classic dish but one which all about personal taste.
An easy way to produce a classic steamed Asian seabass, using a foil lid
- 1 large Seabass Gutted and cleaned
- 4 Spring Onions
- 1-2 inch Piece of Ginger
- 1 large Bunch of Coriander
- 1 Lime
- 1-3 tsp Lee Kum Kee Chiu Chow Chilli Oil
- 1-3 tsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Mirin or rice wine
- 1 tsp Lee Kum Kee Pure Sesame Oil
- 1-2 cloves Garlic
Pre-heat your oven to 180c (170c Fan)
Score the seabass at an angle at 2cm intervals, cutting down till your knife just touched the bones of the fish. Turn and repeat on the other side of the fish. Season into the scores with a little salt and pepper, then season the cavity
Trim the spring onions and slice finely. Peel the ginger and slice into fine fingers. Pick over the coriander leaves, removing the stalks and setting to one side.
Finely chop the coriander stalks. Peel and finely chop or crush the garlic
Mix together the chopped stalks, most of the leaves, the spring onions, ginger, garlic and chiu chow chilli oil. Stuff the inner cavity of the fish and push a little of the stuffing into the slits
Mix the lime juice with the mirin and soy and season with salt
Put the fish on foil-lined roasting tray with the remains of the lime cut into sections and scatter over any remaining stuffing
Pour over the lime juice mixture and using a new piece of foil, seal the fish tightly
Steam the seabass in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the fish flakes easily away from the bone. If you open the parcel too early and need to return it to the oven, don't try to re-seal, it won't dry out if you just need a few extra minutes cooking time.
Serve garnished with the remaining coriander leaves and the sesame oil
Best of all, for me, is that oven steamed Asian Sea Bass is a really healthy recipe, especially if you use low-salt soy. It’s high in protein and low in fat and sugar The exact calorie count will depend on the size of fish you pick but allow around 400 calories for what is a very delicious and dinner-party worthy dish.
Looking for other fish recipes? We love this recipe for Halibut with a Champagne Cream sauce and Asparagus and for an easy to make starter, recommend this salmon terrine, which combines smoked and fresh salmon for a milder taste.
Disclosure: I was gifted a set of sauces by Lee Kum Kee for the purpose of promotion on social media. I was not required to write a recipe.