Simple Steamed Whole Sea Bass (Branzino) | Asian Cooking Mom


Simple Steamed Whole Sea Bass (Branzino) - AsianCookingMom
Average rating: 5 (1 rating)

Simple Steamed Whole Sea Bass (Branzino)

 Preparation: 10 minutes | Cook: 20 minutes      7 ingredients      Entree
December 4, 2019 Jump to Recipe

This steamed whole sea bass, also called branzino, is my husband’s favorite fish dish.  He grew up eating seafood. So when he says this is his favorite fish dish, he knows what he’s talking about.  It’s the holiday season here in the U.S., so I bought my fish from Costco during its Thanksgiving seafood roadshow (here in D.C., they have the roadshow just before major holidays).  But I’ve seen many grocery stores, like Whole Foods and Harris Teeter carrying them regularly.

Sea bass or Branzino is one of the best types of fish to steam, along with striped bass, rockfish, flounder, groupers, grass carp, etc. These types of fish have mild flavored tender white meat and few bones, which make them great for steamed recipes.

The technique in this recipe is extremely simple and the entire dish can be done within 30 minutes even for first timers. Steaming the sea bass preserves the fish’s juicy, delicate, and sweet meat.  The sauce is not overpowering and enhances the fish’s natural umami.   

Active Time: 10 min

Total Time: 30 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 sea bass (branzino), about 1-1.5 lbs; cleaned and scaled
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt depending on the size of the fish
  • 1 small ginger, about 1-2 inch long; cut into thin long wedges
  • 2 scallions, separate the white and green parts; cut into long thin slices (julienned)

Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce; see notes for more detail 1
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar; see notes for more detail 2
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil; preferably oil with mild flavor and high smoke point

Preparation:

  1. Remove the fins from the fish and clean the inside.  Pat the fish dry with paper towel. Depending on the size of the fish, make 3 or 4 cuts (1-1.5 inch long) on each side of the fish (about 1 inch apart). 
  1. Sprinkle kosher salt on the fish, and gently massage the salt into the cuts and the belly.   Then let the fish rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes.  Let the salt do its magic.
  1. While the fish rests, boil water over high heat in a steamer or a large pot (I use a large cast iron wok with a steamer rack).  While waiting for water to boil, prepare the ginger wedges and scallions slices accordingly.
  1. Then insert one ginger wedge into each cut on the fish.  Insert a few ginger wedges inside the fish’s belly.  Then spread the rest of the ginger wedges on a plate and put the fish on top of the wedges. Surround the fish with prepared white parts of the scallions.
  1. When the water boils, carefully transfer the fish plate to the steamer or the steamer rack. Cover and let it cook on high between 6-8 minutes depends on the size of the fish (for a 1 lb fish, no more than 6 minutes).  DO NOT over steam otherwise the meat will become hard.
  1. While the fish steams (or before), prepare the sauce by mixing together 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp Chinese vinegar. 
  1. After the fish is done steaming, turn off the heat and remove the lid immediately.  Then slowly pour the sauce over the fish.
  1. In a small pan, heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil until very hot but not smoking.  Then lay the julienned green parts of the scallions evenly on top of the fish.  Next pour the hot oil over the scallions.  You know you are doing it right when you can hear a sizzling sound while pouring the hot oil.  

Bon Appetit!

Notes:

  1. Here I used San-J gluten free soy sauce.  But any light soy sauce (not the kind for coloring purpose) can do the job.  Kikkoman, Pearl River Bridge (珠江橋牌), Lee Kum Kee (李錦記)are some of the common Asian soy sauce brands. You can find them in most grocery stores and super markets.  
  2. I used Chinkiang Vinegar (镇江香醋) here.  It’s a type of Chinese black vinegar.  For some reason, I have not seen this type of vinegar in non-Asian grocery stores.  You can substitute it with balsamic vinegar.  If using balsamic vinegar, cut the amount by half to ½ teaspoon.

Asian Cooking Mom - Logo

Did you like this?

If you like this recipe, share it! Better yet, if you made this recipe, tell us how it went below in the comments or share it to social media with the hashtag #asiancookingmom. We'd love to see your creations!

Share:


Leave a Comment

DISCUSSION

    Frank wrote:

    Nice recipe. Very easy to make.


    Restaurant Clicks wrote:

    So weird. I was just searching for information about this stuff and you popped up. You must be doing something right. Thanks by the way, this really answered some questions I was wondering about.


Spicy Garlic Eggplant Boats - Completed Dish

Spicy Garlic Eggplant Boats


Published: September 05, 2020

creamy fish soup - completed dish

Creamy Fish Soup (奶白鱼汤 Nai Bai Yu Tang)


Published: August 08, 2020

Raw Zucchini Salad - Completed Dish

Easy Raw Zucchini Salad (凉拌西葫芦 Liang Ban Xi Hu Lu)


Published: August 01, 2020

Fish Fillet Congee - Completed Dish

Fish Fillet Congee Using Instant Pot (电压锅版生滚鱼片粥 Sheng Gun Yu Pian Zhou)


Published: July 18, 2020

Mushroom Tofu Stir Fry - Completed Dish

Mushroom Tofu Stir Fry (蘑菇豆腐)


Published: June 13, 2020

Tomato Fish Fillet Tofu Stew - Completed

Tomato Fish Fillet Tofu Stew (番茄鱼片豆腐煲)


Published: May 30, 2020