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Steamed Sea Bass in Napa Cabbage

This delicious steamed sea bass in napa cabbage is courtesy of chef Michael Schulson.

  • Servings: 4
Steamed Sea Bass in Napa Cabbage

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, September 2006


For The Bass

  • 1 1/2 pounds sea bass, cut into 8 pieces, approximately 2 by 4 inches each
  • 2 tablespoons sacha sauce (Chinese barbecue sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil, heated
  • 1 tablespoon minced red finger chile
  • Coarse salt
  • 8 leaves napa cabbage, tough stems removed

For the Sauce

  • 1 piece fresh ginger (4 inches), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chile oil
  • Scallions, julienned, for garnish
  • Julienned fresh peeled ginger, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil, heated


  1. To make the sea bass, place the fish in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in single layer. In a small bowl, mix together the sacha sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, oil, and chile. Pour the mixture over the fish, cover, and let marinate refrigerated for 2 hours.

  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt, and bring the water back to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. Add the cabbage leaves to the boiling water, and cook until they are tender but still retain their crispness, about 1 minute. Remove the leaves from the water, and immediately plunge them into the ice-water bath. Allow the cabbage leaves to cool for about 1 minute in the ice-water bath, and then pat dry using paper towels.

  3. Remove 1 piece of fish from the marinade; place on a cabbage leaf about 1 inch from the edge. Fold in the left and right edges of leaf, and then roll the fish up in the leaf to enclose completely. Place seam side down in a bamboo steamer basket. Repeat process with remaining fish and cabbage leaves.

  4. Fill a large skillet with water and bring to a boil. Place bamboo steamer into the skillet and cover. Steam the fish until the edges of the fish are firm and white, about 6 minutes.

  5. To make the sauce, place the ginger in a small food processor and process until pureed. Transfer the ginger puree onto a paper towel. Over a medium bowl, squeeze the ginger in the paper towel until all the ginger juice is extracted from the pulp; discard pulp. Add the oyster sauce, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and oil to the ginger juice and whisk together.

  6. Place 2 of the wrapped fish rolls on each of 4 heatproof plates. Drizzle sauce around fish. Garnish fish with scallions and ginger. Carefully pour 1 tablespoon heated grape seed oil over scallions and ginger. Serve immediately.

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