Thai Steamed Sea Bass

seabassMy incessant love for food and innate desire to eat my way through the world, make it a constant struggle to maintain my weight. I am extremely cognizant of the brutal effects excessive eating out can have on my body. I do comprehend the need to devise more strategies to lead a healthier life, but I just cannot succumb to boring meals.

One tactic that works well for me is coupling my exercise routines along with eating only home cooked meals on weekdays. I try to save my restaurant binges for the weekends. This can be extremely challenging, as foodie is easily bored of plain home cooked meals. Once the boredom sets in the snack attacks appear, followed by all the ordering in! Then it’s all back to square one. In order to prevent this monotony from setting in, I try to keep our weeknight dinners interesting and often inspired by our restaurant favourites.

This Thai Steamed Sea Bass is inspired by one of my favourite things to order at a Thai restaurant – the whole steamed fish. It’s typically a whole Barramundi, Grouper or Sea Bass engulfed in aromatic Thai herbs and spices and steamed to perfection. I simplify the classic recipe by using pre-cleaned Indian Sea Bass (bekti) fillets, to reduce the cleaning and cooking time. The fragrant lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves pair beautifully with the umami of the fish and soy sauce and the pungency of the chilli. This recipe sticks to the classic Thai philosophy of balancing salt and spice with some acidity and a hint of sweetness. Finally, the perfect steaming technique leads to a flaky fish, that’s bursting with succulent flavours!

If your weekly home cooked meals are starting to feel rather monotonous, it’s the perfect time to add this recipe into you the dinner rotations. This recipe will help you stray from the ordinary and bring exotic flavours into your kitchen in under 30 minutes. It will help you jazz up dinner without undoing your clean eating goals!

Thai Steamed Sea Bass Recipe
Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 portions

Ingredients:
2 sea bass fillets 140-150 gram each, washed and cleaned
1 lemon grass stock, bruised
1 Thai birds eye chilli
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
½ inch piece of galangal or ginger, peeled
1 ½ tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable or any other flavourless oil
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
2 kafir lime leaves,
1 tablespoon scallion greens for garnish

Notes:

  • The common name in India for Sea Bass is Bekti

Method:

  1. Use a mortar and pestle to coarsely grind together the lemon grass, birds eye chilli, garlic and ginger.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar until the brown sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the oil, then stir in the ground mixture, cilantro and lime leaves. This is the fish marinade.
  3. Make two foil parcels and place one fillet in each of them. Before sealing the parcels pour, half the marinade into each of the parcels and make sure the fillets are well coated. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. In the mean time use take a double steamer and fill the bottom container ¼ of the way with water. Bring it to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, put on the top compartment. Reduce the heat to the lowest gas setting and place the sealed fish packets in the top compartment.
  5. Cover and steam for 8 minutes or till the fish is flaky and fully cooked through. Serve immediately in the foil packets itself so all the wonderful cooking juices can be enjoyed with the fish.
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