Steamed Thai seabass
Updated: May 17
This is a recipe that my mum has been making for years and after I put a picture of it on instagram, the response for a recipe was very popular, so here it is. I absolutely love this one - its a really nice way of using big, bold flavours in a really delicate way. Its got classic strong Thai flavours such as lemongrass, lime, ginger, chilli and garlic, but the addition of coconut milk and the steaming of the fish mean that it comes out as quite a subtle dish. I would definitely recommend making it, as its actually very simple, but it looks like a very classy and refined dish which would take a lot of effort. Here's the recipe:
Ingredients (serves 2):
Seabass fillets x2, skin on and de-boned
200g Basmati rice
4 spring onions
Handful of coriander
Small bag of mange tout
1 red chilli
For the paste
1 bunch of coriander
1 red chilli
1 thumb sized piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 a lemongrass stalk, bruised and finely chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 kaffir lime leaves (fresh if possible)
1 tbsp fish sauce
200ml coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 210C. Put all of the ingredients for the paste into a blender and whizz it up until smooth.
Score the skin of the seabass fillets at 1-2 cm intervals, being careful not to cut all the way through the flesh.
Cook the rice until 3-4 minutes under packet instructions (should be slightly too hard/crunchy to eat). Once cooked, place the rice in a high sided baking tray and pour the paste/sauce on top. Place the seabass fillets on top, and cover with foil. Place the whole tray in the oven for 10-12 minutes
Once 10 minutes is up, remove the foil, and add in the mange tout. Place the foil back over, and return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes until the rice has absorbed the liquid, the fish is tender and the mange tout are cooked through but still have bite.
To serve, scatter over slices of red chilli, roughly chopped coriander, finely chopped spring onions and squeeze over a wedge of lime.
Such a delicious recipe this - perfect balance and symmetry of flavours and textures. I would definitely recommend giving this a go as an introduction to cooking fish. If you follow your gut and ensure a gentle steam, you will end up with perfect, flaky, moist fish which has been beautifully perfumed by the aromatics in the paste. As always, if you do make this, please drop me a message on instagram (@OTCooks_Eats) to let me know how you got on.