Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Steamed sea bass in hot beer and ginger lime sauce

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 2
From Chinese Food Made Easy
This simple and elegant sea bass recipe makes the most of this delicious fish.


  1. For the sea bass, sprinkle half of the ginger and spring onion strips across the fish, or tuck some into the scores made in the skin. Place the remaining ginger and spring onion into the fish cavity.

  2. Transfer the fish to a heatproof plate or dish and pour the rice wine over. Place the plate into a large bamboo steamer and cover. Place the bamboo steamer on top of a pan of boiling water (making sure the water does not touch the base of the steamer). Steam the fish for 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of the fish), or until the fish is cooked through (the flesh should flake easily when poked with chopsticks). Turn off the heat and leave the fish in the steamer to rest.

  3. For the sauce, heat a wok until smoking and add the oil. Add the grated ginger, stir-frying for a few seconds. Stir in the lime zest, followed by the beer and soy sauce. As soon as the liquid comes to the boil, add the spring onions and coriander, then remove from the heat.

  4. To serve, carefully remove the plate of fish from the bamboo steamer, pour the sauce over the fish and serve immediately with steamed wild basmati rice.


For the sea bass

  • 2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into long thin strips (juilienne)
  • 1 spring onion, sliced into long strips
  • 1 whole wild sea bass (about 550g/1¼lb), de-scaled, gutted, cleaned and skin scored several times with a sharp knife
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

For the hot ginger lime and beer sauce

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger
  • 1 lime, zest only
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 330ml/11½fl oz Chinese beer or other light beer
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 spring onion, sliced into long strips (juilienne)
  • 1 large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • steamed wild basmati rice, to serve

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