Learn . Laugh . Eat

Sea Bass with Crushed Soybeans and Chilli Sauce

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

In Chinese tradition, serving fish whole, signifies abundance in life. It is often a customary way of eating during any type of celebration, but especially significant during Chinese New Year. This particular recipe combines the salty, earthyiness of black bean, with a hit of chilli and a beautifully lightly steamed fish. Great for flavour, balance, and abundance. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

1 tablespoon salted soybeans

2 garlic cloves

1 bird’s-eye chilli

a large handful of coriander

1 x 350–500g sea bass, scaled, gutted and de-gilled (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

The Sauce

1 teaspoon chilli bean sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine

100ml chicken or vegetable stock, or hot water

a dash of dark soy sauce

PREPARATION

  • Lightly crush the soybeans in a small bowl with the back of a teaspoon. Finely chop the garlic and chilli. Roughly chop the coriander
  • Wash the fish, pat dry and place on a large plate or platter suitable for steaming.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place the crushed soybeans at 12 o’clock, then arrange the garlic, chilli, sauce bowl and chopped coriander clockwise around the plate.

COOKING

  • Set a large wok or steaming pan up with a steamer stand and fill with boiling water to a third of the way up the sides. Place the fish plate into the wok or pan, cover with a lid and steam for 7–12 minutes, until cooked (see Tip). Remove and set aside, covering the fish with foil so it stays warm and moist.
  • Drain and dry the wok, add the vegetable oil and heat until smoking. Add the soybeans and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the garlic, chillies and sauce. Bring to a vigorous boil, then add half the coriander and continue to cook for 1 minute until the sauce has thickened and reduced by at least a third.
  • Pour the sauce over the steamed fish and garnish with the remaining coriander to serve.

Jeremy Pang's Chinese Unchopped (Quadrille £19.99) Photography by Martin Poole


1 tablespoon salted soybeans

2 garlic cloves

1 bird’s-eye chilli

a large handful of coriander

1 x 350–500g sea bass, scaled, gutted and de-gilled (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

The Sauce

1 teaspoon chilli bean sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine

100ml chicken or vegetable stock, or hot water

a dash of dark soy sauce


PREPARATION

  • Lightly crush the soybeans in a small bowl with the back of a teaspoon. Finely chop the garlic and chilli. Roughly chop the coriander
  • Wash the fish, pat dry and place on a large plate or platter suitable for steaming.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place the crushed soybeans at 12 o’clock, then arrange the garlic, chilli, sauce bowl and chopped coriander clockwise around the plate.

COOKING

  • Set a large wok or steaming pan up with a steamer stand and fill with boiling water to a third of the way up the sides. Place the fish plate into the wok or pan, cover with a lid and steam for 7–12 minutes, until cooked (see Tip). Remove and set aside, covering the fish with foil so it stays warm and moist.
  • Drain and dry the wok, add the vegetable oil and heat until smoking. Add the soybeans and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the garlic, chillies and sauce. Bring to a vigorous boil, then add half the coriander and continue to cook for 1 minute until the sauce has thickened and reduced by at least a third.
  • Pour the sauce over the steamed fish and garnish with the remaining coriander to serve.

Jeremy Pang's Chinese Unchopped (Quadrille £19.99) Photography by Martin Poole

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