You could call this an entry-level fish dish—it’s that easy. But beyond its simplicity, the fatty lusciousness of sea bass contrasts gorgeously with the crunch of bok choy and the spiciness of the sauce spiked with ginger beer.
- 1 bunch bok choy (about 1 pound)
- Kosher salt
- 4 Chilean sea bass fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- One 12 ounce bottle ginger beer
- 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, or 2 lime leaves, sliced (optional)
- Prep Time: 30m
- Cook Time: 30m
- Trim the bok choy and cut out any thick stems. Rinse under cool, running water and shake most of the water from the leaves.
- Pour water into a large, deep skillet to a depth of 2 inches or so and season lightly with salt. Put a steamer basket over the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Put the bok choy leaves (they don’t have to be dry) in the skillet, salt lightly, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium. Steam the bok choy until the leaves wilt, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the lid from the skillet and continue cooking for about 1 minute to evaporate any excess water clinging to the leaves (there will be some water in the pan, but no worries).
- Meanwhile, season the sea bass fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat the sesame oil with 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium high heat. When hot, add the fillets and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the fillets from the heat, set aside on a plate, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Pour the ginger beer into the sauté pan (after you’ve taken a few nips yourself) and stir to mix with the pan juices. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat a little, and simmer until the beer evaporates, leaving a thickish, slightly oozy glaze in the pan, 8 to 10 minutes. As the pan sauce simmers, stir it with a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the grated ginger and lime juice to the pan and swirl to mix. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and stir until the pan sauce is smooth and thick.
- Serve the fillets on top of the wilted bok choy. Spoon a little sauce over the fish and garnish with the cilantro, if desired.
As featured in the Summer 2017 Edition of Beekman 1802 Almanac Magazine. For more check out So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours by Richard Blais. Reproduced with permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.