Hooked: Asian Sea Bass With Bok Choy and White Bean Puree

I had dinner at Hook last week and while I spent way too much money, I had an incredible meal – scallop crudo, a whimsical Italian dessert from arguably DC’s best pastry chef, etc. The highlight was the sablefish I had, in a fairly simple soy-sauce based preparation, served with bok choy and kind of a white bean puree.

John and I have decided to try to work fish into our diets once a week, and kicked off the plan last night. I figured I’d try to make something similar to what I had at Hook. No black cod at Whole Foods yesterday, but sea bass did the job just fine.For the fish, bok choy and sauce

2 small sea bass filets, about 6 oz each

soy sauce

sesame oil

rice vinegar

oyster sauce

salt and pepper

olive oil

chicken broth

bok choy

1 clove garlic, minced

Marinate your bass in some soy sauce and a bit of sesame oil for about a half hour.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Season fish with salt and pepper, and sear briefly on each side. I browned my garlic a little at the same time.

Add some chicken stock to the pan (just a small layer for steaming), as well as your bok choy. Cover and steam for 8-10 minutes until veggies and fish are cooked through.

In a separate saucepan, while the fish is cooking, combine to taste sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice vinegar (I didn’t measure, but we’re talking maybe a 2/3 cup of soy sauce, a bit of sesame oil, a spoonful of oyster sauce and a dash of vinegar). Allow to reduce (I cheated and thickened a little with a cornstarch slurry).

To plate, place one fillet of fish on top of a bed of bok choy (which I drained). Drizzle sauce over fish, and on white bean puree (below) as well.

White bean puree

1 can white beans

3 or so sage leaves, torn

chicken stock (maybe a quarter cup)


Simmer beans for about 10 minutes in stock and sage. Salt to taste. Puree mixture with an immersion blender.

Recipe thoughts:

Not sure if searing the fish served much of a purpose. There wasn’t much skin, and I think any crispiness was negated when I steamed it. Maybe if I’d had a rack?

I was a little worried about the bean puree – my approach was kid of Italian and the meal was Asian-y. I thought it was fine.

The sauce was a bit on the pungent side – I might temper it a little next time around.

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Filed under fish dishes, main dishes, side dish

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