Steamed sea bass fillets with spring vegetables

Steamed sea bass fillets with spring vegetables


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About this recipe: Oriental steamer baskets are most handy for this dish – you can stack them so that everything can be steamed together. The moist heat from steaming ensures that the fish doesn't dry out. If using a liquid fish stock base or a cube, make up the stock half strength as it will get a lot of flavour from the marinade.

Azmina Govindji

Serves: 4 

  • 1 tsp grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry, dry white wine or vermouth
  • 4 sea bass fillets, 3.5 cm (1¼ in) thick, about 140 g (5 oz) each
  • 700 ml (24 fl oz) fish stock
  • 200 g (7 oz) couscous
  • 1 strip of lemon zest
  • 225 g (8 oz) baby carrots
  • 12 spring onions, trimmed to about 10 cm (4 in) long
  • 200 g (7 oz) asparagus tips
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

Prep:35min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:55min 

  1. First make the marinade. Combine the ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and sherry, wine or vermouth in a bowl. Add the fish and coat in the marinade. Set aside.
  2. Bring 250 ml (8½ fl oz) of the stock to the boil in a saucepan that will accommodate the steamer basket(s). Put the couscous in a bowl and pour over the boiling stock. Cover and leave to stand for about 15 minutes or until the couscous has swelled and absorbed the liquid.
  3. Pour the remaining stock into the saucepan. Add the lemon zest and bring to the boil. Add the carrots. Reduce the heat so the stock simmers.
  4. Place the fish, skin side down, in a steamer basket. Add the spring onions and asparagus, or put them in a second stacking steamer basket. Place the steamer basket(s) over the gently boiling stock and cover. Steam for 10–12 minutes or until the fish is opaque throughout and begins to flake, and the vegetables are tender.
  5. When the couscous is ready, add the parsley and fluff the grains with a fork to mix the couscous and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Lift the steamer basket(s) off the pan. Drain the carrots, reserving the cooking liquid. Arrange the fish, carrots and steamed vegetables on warm plates together with the couscous. Discard the lemon zest from the cooking liquid. Serve the liquid as a sauce.

Some more ideas

If you don't have a steamer, place the fish and vegetables in a colander, then place inside a large pan and cover with a lid. * Use salmon or cod fillets instead of sea bass. The cooking time may need to be reduced by a minute or two for thinner fish fillets; check for doneness after 8–9 minutes.

Plus points

White fish such as sea bass are low in fat and calories and they offer many B-complex vitamins. Sea bass is also a good source of calcium, an essential mineral with many important functions in the body, including keeping bones and teeth strong. * The active ingredient in asparagus, called asparagine, has a strong diuretic effect. Herbalists recommend eating asparagus as a treatment for rheumatism, arthritis and the bloating associated with PMT.

Each serving provides

Excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin B12. Good source of calcium, folate, iron, vitamin C. Useful source of vitamin B1, vitamin B6.

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