Seabass is right up there as one of my favorite fish. The Miso Seabass Skewers at Sushi Samba in Vegas? Yes please. (NOT the ones in New York, which, in my opinion, fade in comparison) If I remember correctly, Betelnut in San Francisco offers a similar dish which was prepared slightly different but was equally saliva-ensuing. That’s why when I came across this recipe in my New American Table cookbook, I immediately whipped out the sticky-tabs and added it to my list of dinners to make this week. A quick glance over the recipe…Sesame seeds, bass fillets, sesame oil, cilantro, kaffir lime leaves…and I was sold.
I was a tiny bit skeptical about this “Sour Tomato Broth” that he spoke of, but I decided to give it a whirl anyway and it came out as an amazingly complex + flavorful accompaniment to the fish. There’s a couple of ingredients in here that you have to get at a specialty market, most notably the Tamarind paste. However, you can make substitute the tamarind paste (as I did) by combining 1/4 cup each of chopped dried dates, dried apricots, and lemon juice and blend in a food processor until smooth.
I served this with some coconut rice + grilled dates.
Grilled Seabass with Sour Tomato Broth
From New American Table
For the Seabass
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon white miso
Four 5 oz bass fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sour Tomato Broth
Heat a grill pan over high heat.
Toss together the sesame seeds and cilantro in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine the olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, and miso in a small bowl. Brush the mixture on both sides of the bass. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the bass on the grill and grill for 3 minutes on each side.
Remove the bass from the grill and sprinkle the sesame seed mixture evenly on top of the fish. Serve with the sour tomato broth.
Sour Tomato Broth
4 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons canola oil
One 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bird’s-eye chiles, seeds and ribs removed
2 whitefish bones
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
1 cup dry white wine
Juice of 2 limes
2 baby bok choy, cut in quarters lengthwise
2 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 250°.
Arrange the tomatoes on a shallow baking sheet and roast until shriveled, 50 to 60 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and chiles and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the fish bones, fish sauce, lime leaves, tamarind paste, and 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Strain the liquid into another pot and add the lime juice and bok choy. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the bok choy is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the roasted tomatoes and scallions. Season with salt.