Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spicy Sea Bass Packets

Don't Fear the Fish!

If you enjoy seafood but are hesitant to prepare it at home, allow The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's to ease your fears. Leigh Ochs, the director of The Cooking School, created this simple, delicious recipe that is perfect for an introduction to cooking fish at home. The Seafood Department at Jungle Jim's International Market makes it even easier by customizing your order. They will cut a fillet to the size you want and will skin it for you at no extra charge. Stop in and ask them for four 5-6 ounce pieces of skinned sea bass to make Spicy Sea Bass Packets.


Fish cooked in a foil packet ensures a moist fillet and easy clean up is a bonus. You can serve the fish in the packet or you can remove it to a plate. Fluffy white rice makes the perfect accompaniment to this fish dish. You can see in the photo that a flavorful sauce is created which you can serve over rice. To complete a colorful plate, add some steamed broccoli or stir-fried snow peas. You'll want to get the rice started first while you prepare and bake the fish.


You will need some soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste (sambal oelek), fresh ginger or ginger paste, green onions, salt and pepper. The Cooking School staff really likes the Gourmet Garden Ginger Paste. You can find it in the refrigerated produce section. It has a bright, fresh ginger taste and is easy to use. Store it in your refrigerator for when you need fresh ginger and don't have a knob of it on hand.


Each ingredient is layered on top the fish. It couldn't be simpler! Once you have added all the ingredients, bring up 2 sides of the foil and crimp. Gather up the other 2 ends to seal the packet. We highly recommend placing your packets on a baking sheet - just in case there is a spill in your oven.


In a preheated 450 degree oven, bake the fish for 15 - 18 minutes. If the fish is thicker than 1", you may need to add another 2-3 minutes to the bake time. To check for doneness, remove the pan from the oven and carefully open the packet. With a knife or a fork, make a cut into the fish. If it is flaky and pulls apart easily, it's done.


We have tried sea bass, halibut and salmon in this recipe. All are delicious. You can also try large scallops.

Spicy Sea Bass Packets

4 (5-6 ounce) sea bass, halibut or salmon fillets
2 teaspoons chili paste
Freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons sesame oil
8 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
4 teaspoons soy sauce


Preheat oven to 450°. Cut four 12-inch square pieces of aluminum foil.

Place a sea bass fillet in the center of each piece of foil. Rub ½ teaspoon chili paste into each fillet. Sprinkle with black pepper. Drizzle 1 teaspoon sesame oil over each piece of fish, sprinkle with scallions and ginger, then drizzle each with 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Close foil tightly, crimping edges closed. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes (bake a few minutes longer if fish is more than 1-inch thick). Place packets on individual plates and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before opening and serving.

Serves 4

from Leigh Ochs' cookbook Be Your Guest

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