Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Steamed Thai-style sea bass and rice

Sea bass is possibly my favourite fish. If not, it is certainly high up in the queue. I know that I am not alone in my preference, given that sea bass is one fish that is in danger of being over-fished. My defence in buying it this time was that I very, very rarely do, although admittedly it is a question of price as much as over-farming. Anyway. I found a lovely-looking sea bass in the fishmongers in town and asked the fishmonger to fillet it for me. I had been dying to try this recipe because I love Thai food, particularly infused with lime and coriander, and it looked, as Jamie said 'really fragrant and light' and 'exciting to eat'. Perfect after the rich belly pork - and also since I hadn't had Thai food in a while and I could feel a craving coming on.

So. I whizzed up coriander, ginger, garlic, chillies, sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice and zest and coconut milk to make a sauce. I cooked the rice until just undercooked, drained it, then decanted it over a baking tray, pouring over the sauce and tossing to spread it evenly. I laid the bass fillets on top, then threw over some mangetout peas, covered the tray in foil and baked for 15 minutes. To serve, I scattered chopped spring onions, sliced chilli, and coriander leaves, plated it up and added a wedge of lime.

It was very delicious indeed. I must admit that steamed fish and steamed rice sometimes sounds a bit virtuous to me - light, tasty, but not a dish I would crave on a cold October evening when it has started to get dark earlier and you need the heating on. This was really different - the sauce infused the rice with so much flavour that to be honest the rice without the fish would still be a nice dinner. With the delicate fish and the hit of lime, chilli, coriander, plus the soothing coconut, it is a perfect dinner. He who eats my concoctions pronounced it 'yum' and 'lush' - OK so he's not trying to sound like Michael Winner (and thank goodness he doesn't LOOK like Michael Winner) - but you get the point. A grade A dinner, which honestly knocks any steamed fish and rice I've had before out of the league.

1 comment:

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