Honey baked sea bass with pickled ginger

Honey baked sea bass with pickled ginger

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3/4 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns
1 sea bass, about 1.5 kg
2 tablespoons clear honey
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
salt

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove
1 lime
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sake
1/2 tablespoon pickled ginger, (see note)
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the lime and ginger sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon pickled ginger
2 spring onions
1 lime, juiced, (from the lime zested for the marinade)

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220ºC. Place the Szechuan peppercorns on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove, tip onto a plate and set aside to cool.
  2. Clean and gut the sea bass. Using a sharp knife, cut 3 slashes in both sides of the fish and transfer to a dish. Lightly crush the toasted peppercorns using a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in the honey. Rub this mixture over the fish skin on both sides.
  3. To make the marinade, peel and crush the garlic. Finely grate the zest of the lime, reserving the lime for the sauce. Put the garlic and lime zest in a small bowl with the remaining marinade ingredients. Mix together, then pour over and inside the fish. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Place a large piece of foil on a baking tray and brush with the sunflower oil. Place the fish, with its marinade, on the foil. Season with salt and wrap loosely, securing the edges firmly, then bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes. It is cooked when the eyes are opaque and the dorsal fin will pull out easily. Check inside the cavity at the bone; the fish should be opaque.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the lime and ginger sauce, scatter the sesame seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven (with the fish) for 5 minutes, then tip onto a plate to cool. Finely shred the pickled ginger, trim and finely slice the spring onions and put both in a small bowl. Juice the reserved lime. Add the toasted sesame seeds and lime juice to the sauce and mix well.
  6. When the fish is cooked, unwrap the foil. Either carefully transfer the fish to a warmed serving dish, pouring over any juice, or leave on the foil. Sprinkle the lime and ginger sauce over the fish to serve.

Variation

  • Honey baked sea bass with lemongrass and lime: Omit the peppercorn rub and the marinade and sauce. Finely chop 3 lemongrass stalks, 2 garlic cloves, 2 red chillies (deseeded if preferred), and a 3 cm piece of peeled fresh root ginger. Pound together with a pestle and mortar and add the juice and finely grated zest of 2 limes. Rub half the mixture in the belly of the fish and the rest over both sides of the prepared fish. Wrap and cook as for the main recipe. For the sauce, put the juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime in a bowl with 1 teaspoon palm (or brown) sugar and leave to dissolve. Add ½ teaspoon each of soy sauce and nam pla (fish sauce) and stir in 2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal. The sauce should be sweet and sour and salty; adjust the flavourings as necessary. Pour over the cooked fish before serving.

To make your own pickled ginger...

  • Peel and very finely slice a 7.5 cm piece of fresh root ginger. Marinate in 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar for 1 hour, or ideally overnight. Drain and use as required.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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