This is hands down my new favorite recipe. Thanks to my dad’s friend, who was appalled when he found out I don’t watch Marco Pierre White’s cooking demonstrations on youtube in my free time, I discovered this recipe. Truly impressive. And it’s not even that complex or time consuming. Except for the fact that it seems like the only place to find Branzini, also known as Mediterranean Sea Bass (not to be confused with Chilean Sea Bass) is Whole Foods. And sometimes when you get there it’s all gone! So the trek to Whole Foods and the $10.99/pound price tag might discourage some of you but I’m telling you, this dish is worth it. The tenderness of the fish is perfectly complemented with the soft Asian flavors and the slight bite of the ginger matchsticks and scallion strips. A flavor explosion in your mouth. Really. The fish bakes in a foil packet, sealing in all the flavors and taking in the pillowy bed of ginger slices and green onion stalks that have been placed beneath it. Don’t get freaked out because it’s not a fillet and the fish still has it’s head and tail intact. Thanks to the service at Whole Foods you don’t even need to gut it yourself – and that’s surely the scariest part. And I know it can be annoying to have to pick through the bones, sitting on edge, running the risk of choking on one with every bite. It’s worth it though.
The fish itself isn’t too big, weighs in around 1 pound – which I would say is a good portion size for 2 people – for a light meal. A side of lightly sauteed bok choy pairs perfectly.
- 1 whole Branzini (Mediterranean Sea Bass) (about 1 pound)
- 2-3 inch piece of ginger
- 5-6 green onions
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 tablespoons chicken broth
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
- ½ jalapeno, chopped
- small clump fresh cilantro, ripped into pieces
- aluminum foil
- a couple tablespoons white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice 1 inch piece of ginger into thin slices and the other piece into matchsticks. Slice the scallions along the diagonal into thin strips.
- On a baking sheet place a large piece of aluminum foil. Lightly grease the middle area with olive oil and place some scallion strips topped with ginger slices across the middle section of the foil. Place fish on top of scallions/ginger. Lightly rub fish, inside and out with olive oil. Fold the aluminum foil over, sealing one end shut. In the other end pour in a small amount of white wine - a couple tablespoons, and seal that end shut. Place fish in hot oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime prepare the sauce by combining ginger matchsticks, scallion thin strips, jalapeno, cilantro, soy sauce, chicken broth and olive oil. Taste the sauce and adjust quantities of chicken broth and olive oil to your liking.
- When fish is cooked open up foil packet and pour some of the sauce (with toppings) over the fish. Serve with remaining sauce. Be careful not to eat the bones and skin!