Recipe: Steam Roasted Fragrant Sea Bass with Chargrilled prawns & Roasted Lime
Chef Edward Hayden has just returned from Shanghai with IDEAS on putting a spicy twist to SUMMER DINING
Before this trip, my understanding of Chinese food was the somewhat westernised versions we see in the local Chinese takeaway.
During my time in Shanghai I spent lots of time learning how the Chinese chefs prepare and cook their meals. They use lots of various types of leafy green vegetables and aromatic leaves and as you can see from the photo above, some of their vegetables are visibly different to ours such as the aubergine.
I was there on a teaching exchange programme with Anne Grace Tubritt, my colleague from Waterford Institute of Technology.
As much as I tried to impress the fundamentals of our Irish cuisine on our Chinese students, I also tried very hard to soak up as much of the trends and culinary practices of China - which I factored into today's recipes.
They use lots of chilli, ginger, garlic and lemongrass as well as fresh herbs, and I found that the foods they serve are less sauced than their European re-creations.
Given the new Chinese beef contract for Irish producers, I thought it would be good to showcase a great beef recipe using some quintessential Chinese flavours such as the sweet chilli and the soy sauce which make for a very tasty combination in the salad.
In China, all fish was served in its entirety - head, tail, the works! It's not something we are as familiar with in Ireland so feel free to cut them off before cooking if desired.The gentle infused flavour from the coriander, chilli and lemongrass works wonderfully with the fish.
They eat lots of different types of mushrooms and one of the favourites was the enoki which I have teamed with some broccoli and oyster sauce as a side accompaniment.
We didn't see many desserts in restaurants, but after a meal they served lots of varieties of fruit including dragon fruit and lychees. I've made a deliciously fragrant sugar syrup to glaze the fruit and a platter of this type should be a big favourite with your dinner party guests.
Steam Roasted Fragrant Sea Bass with Chargrilled prawns & Roasted Lime
4 whole sea bass
2 red chilli
2 stalks of lemongrass
Bunch fresh coriander (couple of stalks in each sprig)
Small drizzle of oil
Salt & black pepper
2 limes, one juiced, one sliced
For the garnish: 16 prawns
4oz/110g sea asparagus
4floz/110ml good quality fish/chicken stock
1. Leaving the head and tail intact, clean out the sea bass or have the fishmonger prepare them for you.
2. Halve the red chillies and insert half a chilli in the middle of each sea bass. Insert half a stalk of lemongrass into the cavity also along with the sprigs of coriander. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/375˚F/gas mark 5.
3. Stand the filled sea bass on a baking sheet, drizzle with the lime juice and a little oil and arrange slices of lime around them. Scatter with a little salt and cracked black pepper and place in the oven. Pour the water on top of the fish and cook the fish for 20-22 minutes depending on the size of the fish.
4. Preheat the chargrill pan with a little oil. Add the prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes on either side until cooked through.
5. Serve the fish whole with the chargrilled prawns, roasted limes and some wilted seas asparagus, and pour over the stock.
This is a very delicious accompaniment to serve as part of a Chinese-inspired buffet.