It’s that time of the year when the TV ads and Sunday supps are pushing gym memberships and diet plans and your bathroom scales tell you that you over-indulged at Christmas, as if you didn’t know already. I’m the worst offender. Quite apart from all the Christmas cake, gingerbread and mince pies I’ve scarfed down, my default position when faced with leftover turkey and ham is to bind it in a thick sauce and put it all under a golden pie crust.
But lighter, brighter food doesn’t necessarily mean you have to fight the family rabbit/hamster/guinea pig/non-hibernating tortoise (delete as appropriate) for salad stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with salad, but at this time of the year I like a hot meal to combat the often dreary weather.
This Chinese-inspired recipe hits the spot, I think. We ate it with oriental vegetables stir-fried with a hint of chilli. In retrospect, I wish I’d scattered the fish with a little sliced red chilli, so do add it if you like the idea. Noodles or rice would bulk out the dish.
Sea Bass with Ginger and Spring Onions
2 sea bass fillets (or other firm white fish)
1 thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely shredded
2-3 spring onions, white parts very finely sliced, green parts sliced and reserved for garnish
1 tbsp dark soy
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp mirin
1 tspn sesame oil
Fresh coriander to garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. In a bowl, mix together the ginger, the white part of the spring onions, the soy, lime juice, mirin and sesame oil.
Cut a double layer of foil big enough to make a baggy envelope for the fish. Place it on a baking tray, lay the fish fillets on it side by side and pull up the sides of the foil. Drizzle over the dressing and seal into a loose parcel so the fish has room to steam. Bake for about 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets – mine were thin) until the fish is opaque and just cooked but still not falling apart.
Remove from the oven, carefully undo the parcel and serve the fish on a bed of stir-fried vegetables. Garnish with the spring onion tops and coriander.