Good Things Come In Small Packages

Is sea bass one of those fish we're not supposed to eat? It’s confusing. And no wonder. First it was the “in” fish; then environmentalists got the word out about overfishing and sustainability. As a result, many chefs banned it from their menus. Now once again it's on menus everywhere AND in Gourmet magazine where I found this recipe so I'm guessing it’s OK to eat. Right?

I do love fish- any kind – cooked any old way, but I’m always on the lookout for unusual recipes. And I am not much for sauces, especially when I am watching calories. I want something simple, fast, lo-cal and delicious- yet something spectacular enough to serve to company. That’s the trick. Elegant enough for company without appearing like a skimpy diet dinner.

Well, here's a winner. Gourmet’s May 2009 issue has one of their “quick kitchen” recipes called Sake Sea Bass in Parchment. It looked like such a fun presentation and after reading the ingredients I didn’t see how it could go wrong. (Unless someone’s going to tell me I bought illegal fish from Whole Foods- which I greatly doubt.)

Since I found this recipe I've made it again and again. It's addictive. It’s perfect for dinner serving one or two as well as great fun for company. Just add a salad, a veggie and you’re done. Lovely.

Sake Sea Bass In Parchment
(Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, May 2009)

1/2 cup sake
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
6 (6 ounce) pieces skinless sea bass fillet (about 1 inch thick), any bones removed
1/2 cup sliced scallions
6 (12 to 15 inch) squares white parchment paper and kitchen string

Preheat oven to 400°. Put a baking sheet on the bottom rack.
Stir together the sake, soy sauce, ginger and sugar in a bowl.
(If fish fillets are more than 4 inches long, fold the ends under.)
Place a fish fillet in the center of each piece of a parchment square and season very lightly with salt. Working with one fillet at a time, sprinkle each portion of fish with scallions and then spoon some of the sake sauce over the top, holding two corners of the parchment paper to stop liquid from spilling out.
Gather the corners of each piece over the fish to form a pouch, leaving no openings and tie tightly with string.
Repeat with the other portions.
Place on the hot baking sheet and bake until fish is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cut the string, open carefully and enjoy! Serves 6.


  1. i'm so intrigued by foods cooked in parchment. there's definitely something appealing about anything wrapped up in a little package, even when it's fish (not my favorite protein). nice work! :)

  2. The parchment really keeps all the wonderful flavours in and especially for seafood, all the juices are retained.I'm sure your fish parchment is delicately tender and succulent. Seafood marinara baked in large baking packets and only cut open when served at the table is especially flavoursome.



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