Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ginger Sea Bass over Wilted Greens

Oven-Roasted Sea Bass with Carrot & Yam Puree

My husband with White Sea Bass (35 lbs.)

My husband went on a fishing trip with some friends on Memorial Day and brought back White Sea Bass. You can't get fish this fresh from your local market!

I found a simple recipe where the oven would do all the work. Plus, I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry.

Read on for recipe ideas:

Ginger Sea Bass over Wilted Greens

Original recipe here 


(Serves 4)

6-8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
4 (5-ounce) sea bass fillets
4 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
8 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 lime, quartered
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


Cut 4 (12-inch-square pieces) of aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Working with 1 foil sheet at a time, place the foil sheets on the work surface. 

Place about cups of spinach (large handful) in the center of each foil sheet. Top with a sea bass fillet. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic, then drizzle 2 tablespoons of Marsala, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil over the fish and spinach. Gather the foil sheets over the fish. Fold in the foil edges and pinch tightly to seal. Place the foil packages on a heavy large baking sheet.

Bake until the spinach wilts and the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the packages to wide shallow bowls. Cool 5 minutes. Open package and fold down to reveal fish, being careful of hot steam. Squeeze the lime juice over the fish. Sprinkle the basil over and serve.

(Side note: The fresh basil from my herb garden tasted a bit bitter and not as sweet. I am going to post about basil plants next.)


  • You can combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl (excluding lime & basil) and pour over each fillet. No need to do it separately. 
  • Be generous with the spinach. Recipe called for 1 1/2 cups, but it wilted down to almost nothing when cooking. I recommend increasing portions as I've adjusted in my recipe above. 
  • As an alternative to spinach, try arugula or escarole. 
  • As an alternative to lime, try lemon.
  • Account for carryover cooking time. My pieces of fish were larger, so it needed more than 10 minutes. I added 3-5 minutes to the cooking time and let them rest. Sadly, they were overcooked. Remember, your fish doesn't have to be 100% cooked out of the oven as residual heat will carry the cooking over. 
  • Don't let the fish cool on the pan as the heat from it may overcook the fish.  
  • Rather than using a knife to mince the ginger & garlic, I used my microplane.

Microplane Fine Grater

I bought my Microplane from Sur La Table. I use it at least a couple times a week to zest lemons or grate parmesan cheese.  

As a side to my fish, I made this easy and healthy veggie puree. It takes about 30 minutes, but requires minimal ingredients.

Carrot & Yam Puree

Original recipe here


(Serves 4)
2-3 tbsp. EVOO
1/2 large onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound yams, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water


In a saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the carrots, yams, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. Using a ladle, remove 2 cups of the cooking liquid and reserve. Transfer contents to a food processor and puree until slightly chunky or smooth. You may need to work in a few batches, depending on size of processor. For a thinner consistency, add reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


  • The original recipe is too much for 2-4 people, so you can easily cut the recipe in half (which I've reflected above)
  • You can use less oil, if desired. Use just enough to coat the bottom of pan for sautéing.
  • I forgot to use garlic this time and it tasted just fine
  • I used a white-skinned yam this time and it wasn't as sweet, but still worked
  • 1 pound of yam is one large one. I like to get short, fats ones rather than skinny, oblong. It's easier to get cut into substantial, even-sized pieces. 
  • 1 pound of carrots is 3-4 medium to large ones.
  • If you want to eyeball rather than measure the stock, just add enough liquid to barely cover the carrot mixture.
  • I forgot the water for this recipe, but it didn't need it. 
  • You can also use regular instead of reduced-sodium stock. Go easy with the salt seasoning.
  • Use brown onions (as opposed to white) for a slightly sweet taste. You can also use shallots.

I first tried the carrot & yam puree with this tilpia recipe

The tilapia is oven-roasted and served with a mustard & chive yogurt sauce.

For some texture and acid, I served with a side of large julienned Granny Smith apples with fennel fronds in a vinaigrette.

Do you have any other ideas to prepare White Sea Bass? Comment below.

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