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Striped Bass Wraps

Aromatic striped bass topped with butter, scallions, and peanuts, and served with a lime-chile dipping sauce is a delicious study in minimalism.

  • Servings: 8
  • Yield: Makes 16

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2006

Ingredients

For the fish

  • 2 whole fresh striped bass (2 pounds each), cleaned and dried
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion (about 8 ounces), halved and cut into half-moons
  • 1 piece (2 inches) peeled fresh ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

for serving

  • 1 1/4 pounds Japanese sweet potatoes and/or regular sweet potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4 ounces fine rice vermicelli
  • 16 round (8-inch) rice-paper wrappers
  • 2 small heads Boston or butter lettuce, leaves separated and ribs removed
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • Lime-Chile Dipping Sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make 3 diagonal 2-inch-long cuts on each side of fish. Rub cavity of each fish with oil; season with salt and pepper. Rub exterior and cuts of each fish with oil; season with salt and pepper. Stuff each cavity with half of the onion and ginger. Transfer fish to a 16-by-12-inch baking dish. Bake until flesh is opaque and no longer pink near spine, about 40 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes in a bamboo or metal steamer basket; place over boiling water in a wide saucepan or wok. Cover; steam until just tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a work surface; let cool slightly. Cut lengthwise into 3-inch-long sticks, about 1/3 inch thick. Set aside.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook according to package instructions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Cut into 2-inch lengths. Set aside.

  4. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add scallions; cook until bright green, about 1 minute. Spoon over baked fish. Sprinkle with peanuts.

  5. To assemble each wrap, soak a wrapper in a bowl of warm water until softened, about 30 seconds. Lay flat on a plate. Top with lettuce, noodles, sweet potato sticks, fish with stuffing and toppings, cilantro, and mint. Fold ends in and roll tightly to enclose filling. Serve with dipping sauce.

Cook's Notes

Use the variety of fine rice vermicelli that is packaged in coiled nests.

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