Soy Steamed Sea Bass – impressive and easy to prepare

Even though I don’t live too far from the coast, it isn’t that easy to get fresh fish in Sussex. So I was thrilled to see that a fishmongers has opened near me. Perfect timing as my pescatarian sister is coming to stay with me next month. Sea Bass is considered OK in the sustainability stakes, but you could also use Basa or Tilapia for this recipe.

I freely admit I love soy – and the combination of that salty, moreish flavour and steaming the fish is a winner. Serving a whole fish at the table looks impressive, whilst cooking en papillote means the fish delicately steams to perfection without having to stand over it or worry that you have overcooked it.

Soy Steamed Sea Bass

Recipe by Adam Bush in Olive MagazineCourse: Main MealsDifficulty: Easy


Total time




  • 1 (about 800g) sea bass, gutted and scaled, with three vertical slashes made in the flesh

  • 300g long-stemmed broccoli, halved lengthways

  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tsp caster sugar

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • a thumb-sized piece ginger, thinly sliced

  • 2 carrots, peeled into thin strips

  • 1 cucumber, peeled into thin strips

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced

  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced at an angle

  • basmati rice, to serve


  • Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut two large sheets of baking paper big enough to completely fit and seal in the sea bass (about 34cm x 36cm). Put the sheets, one on top of the other, onto a large baking sheet and lay the sea bass in the middle. Scatter around the broccoli.
  • Mix together the soy, shaoxing, sesame oil and sugar, and then pour over the fish. Open the belly of the fish and stuff with the garlic, ginger and a handful of coriander stalks. Season the fish and wrap up the parcel tightly to seal. Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the fish is coming away from the bone.
  • Meanwhile, put the carrot and cucumber strips into a bowl with the rice vinegar and some seasoning, and toss. Leave for 20 minutes to pickle.
  • Once the fish is cooked, open up the parcel. Top with the pickled carrot and cucumber strips, sliced red chilli and spring onions. Serve with rice.

We have a few more sea bass recipes on this website… you could try Grace’s Sea Bass with Pesto Vegetables if you are in a hurry – only takes 15 mins.