Saturday, March 18, 2006

Being adventurous with sea bass

I get most of my fish from Eddie's Seafood Market in Marchmont, Edinburgh - a delightful little place with amazing choice of fish - filleted, whole, even still swimming in a tank. A true heaven for fish-lover. However, being a relatively recent convert to the joys and benefits of fish, I usually end up buying salmon. Tasty - but a bit boring. Sometimes I get haddock instead. Always filleted. The woman (fishmongress?) that serves me pretty much offers me salmon fillets before I even ask for it. I keep jokingly promising her that I'll try something new next time.

Today I was brave and asked for a whole sea bass - cleaned and gutted, that is. This was quite a big step - I bought a fish I hadn't bought before, and I bought the whole fish as opposed to plain fillets. A quick web-search yielded this lovely recipe for lightly flavoured oven-steamed seabass. A very nice and subtle ginger and soy flavour, the almost creamy texture of the fish (and very few annoying bones to my utmost delight), this was a simple but festive dish to serve. Another definite keeper. Sometimes it just pays to be a bit more adventurous after all..

Oven-steamed sea bass with ginger and spring onions
(Idamaine meriahven ingveri ja talisibulaga)
Adapted from Epicurious, Menus, February 2006
Serves 2

800 gram whole sea bass, cleaned
0.5 tsp salt
1 bunch spring onions
2-3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
3 Tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
0.25 tsp sugar

Prepare the spring onions. Cut the white and pale green parts into very thin 5 cm strips. Put the green parts aside (you need them later).
Rub the cleaned and gutted fish with salt inside and out. Put into a large baking dish, and the dish in a large roasting pan.
Cover the fish with julienned spring onion and ginger. Mix the sugar and soy sauce and pour over the fish as well.
Fill the roasting pan with boiling water, so it reaches half-ways up side of baking dish.
Cover the whole lot (both the baking dish with the fish and the roasting tin with the baking dish) with foil, sealing the edges tightly, so no steam can escape.
Put onto the middle position in a preheated 200°C oven and oven-steam for 30-35 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
To serve, remove the foil and sprinkle with sliced spring onions (the green bit).
Serve with boiled rice.

Oh - and the dessert was whipped cream, strongly flavoured with lemon juice and zest (2 Nice lemons per 284 ml double cream), sweetened with icing sugar. So simple, and yet so lovely.


Matt Armendariz said...

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat this right about now!

chili&vanilia said...

Ginger is one of my favorite ingredients, I love this recipe.
And I love your new design Pille!

angelika said...

Hi Pille, I will definitely put this recipe on my list for next week, it sounds so tricky, good and easy. I am in the happy position to have a "fishmongress" round the corner, but I agree with you that it pays to be more adventurous from time to time and not only to take the same types of fish. Thank you for sharing. Hugs, angelika

Antti said...

I'm so proud of you! Good girl :)

keiko said...

Pille, your seabass reminded me of John from Masterchef :) (can I say I was really hoping that Dean would win... I fell in love with him, such a sweet guy!)

MM said...

Ah, I have a fishmongress too! LOL.

I adore seabass and luckily for me, it's very readily available and fairly inexpensive here. I usually steam it though with almost the exact same combo of flavours as yours! Try steaming it in a bamboo steamer .. it reallt adds an additional depth. Hungry now ...

sha said...

sea bass is not too expensive here
you will enjoy sea food galore when u come
cant live without ginger

Mark said...

Sounds like John Torode's (masterchef judge) dish. Eddies is fab - try some Turbot or Dover Sole next if your wallet can take the pain - these are my 2 favourite fish, Scottish langoustines are very good too. Will try your cream and lemon dessert soon.

bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Love love sea bass!!! Great fish Pille! You made me smile, when I saw you mentioned dessert as well ;-) Sweet tooth, eh? ;-)

neil said...

Fishmongress ~ maybe a fisherwife, especially if she is a bit shrill. After all, they need to do something while the husband is catching the fish.

Anonymous said...

p.s. Love your sea bass!

Pille said...

Matt - it was lovely, but you were way too far to make it in time;)

Szofi - thanks for your kind words re: the new design - I wanted something brighter for the spring.
I think I'm rekindling my love affair with ginger at the moment as well.

Angelika - I wonder if there is a word for a female fishmonger? Somehow the 'monger' bit sounds so masculine to me.
If you do go ahead with this fish dish, then please let me know what you thought of it, thanks!

Antti - I knew you'd approve:) Though I did almost left the shop after spotting some razor clams on display. Spoooooooky..

Keiko - was that in the episode when poor Dean (my favourite as well - so cute:) made tea-infused steamed fish? I didn't see the cooking bit, only the judging. I spotted pretty much the same recipe in Sunday Herald (a Scottish broadsheet) yesterday in Marjorie Lang's (MasterChef 2000 apparently) column, so it seems to be all the rage at the moment!

MM - this wasn't too expensive either, I paid 5 or 6 quid for the fish. It would have served up to 3 persons, but it was finished by two hungry Estonian lassies this time.. And thanks for the bamboo steamer tip - will try it. Once I buy myself one:)

Sha - the list of foods to eat this summer in Greece is growing and growing. I can live without ginger (as opposed to garlic, parsley and dill), but it's definitely a lovely to have in the kitchen!

Mark - that John Torode again - sadly, he doesn't get a mention in the Epicurious post:) Was he the judge back in 2000? That would explain the recipe in yesterday's Herald.. I've been eyeing that Dover Sole at Eddie's for a while, but it's ca 20 pounds, which is way to expensive. So seabass, salmon or haddock it is..

Bea - yep, there's pretty much always a dessert, although it's usually something that can be whipped together in minutes. So they don't really count:)

Tankeduptaco - not sure my fishmongress's husband actually catches the fish - I think he's just behind the counter as well. So I'll stick to my fishmongress:)

Paz - thanks! It's really easy to make as well!