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
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.