There are times when my head can't stop thinking of new dishes and other times when I'm completely uninspired. During the times when I'm lacking creativity, I try to eat out at new restaurants. Once I find an exciting dish, it's like it sparks a fire inside of me. The latest restaurant that I tried was actually in Houston, Roka Akor. They have this Alaskan king crab entree that's served with a chili lime butter and it's sensational. So I took the idea of that sauce and married it with sea bass. The sauce may not be exactly the same but I am very pleased with how this miso chili lime sea bass turned out. Serve it with a bed of coconut rice and seared bok choy for a complete meal!
Miso Chili Lime Sea Bass
- 10 scallions sliced
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Miso chili lime sea bass
- 2 lb sea bass
- 3 tablespoon oil divided
- ¼ small onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Thai chilies chopped
- 2 tablespoon white miso
- 14 ounces coconut cream
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 lb baby bok choy halved
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Make the pickled onions. Combine the boiling water with rice vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and salt, stirring to dissolved. Add the sliced scallions and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the coconut rice. Wash the jasmine rice until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and combine it with the coconut milk, water, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Fluff the rice with a fork and keep warm.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoon oil on the sea bass and season with salt and pepper. Lay the fish on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove from the oven.
- Prepare the miso chili lime sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and Thai chilies and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the miso, stirring to combine.
- Add the coconut cream, mirin, and sugar to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chili oil, lime zest, and juice. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and keep warm.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan. Cook the baby bok choy until seared and the thick stems are softened, about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Plate the fish on plates and spoon the miso chili lime sauce on top. Top with the pickled onions and serve with the coconut rice and seared bok choy.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The key behind this miso chili lime sea bass is, you may have guessed it, the sauce. It's where all the flavor comes from! So let's start from there.
To make the sauce, start by sauteing the aromatics including the onion, garlic, and Thai chilies. You can omit the chilies if you want a milder version.
Once the onion softens, add the miso, stirring to combine. Add the coconut cream, mirin, and sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. We're using coconut cream and not coconut milk for the thicker consistency.
After about 10 minutes, season the sauce with salt, pepper, lime zest, and juice, and a hit of chili oil. Keep the sauce warm while you prepare the other ingredients. You can also cook the sauce the day before and reheat the following day.
Season the sea bass with salt and pepper and bake it in the oven until the fish flakes easily. Since we're going to cover the fish with the sauce you don't need any other seasonings.
If you're not a fan of sea bass, substitute it with any other type of fish or seafood. You can go completely rebellious and even pair it with roasted chicken or pork tenderloin.
Although you don't have to prepare the other sides, the miso chili lime sea bass goes great with a side of coconut rice and seared bok choy. Oh, and don't forget the pickled scallions for a touch of acidity.
Plate the fish, spooning a generous amount of the sauce on top. This recipe makes a big batch of the sauce and that's a good thing because you're going to want it!
This miso chili lime sea bass reminded me so much of the king crab dish I had in Houston so I would say this was a successful mission! The charred greens with the tart pickled scallions and creamy coconut rice balanced the decadent fish perfectly. A wonderful meal if I do say so myself!
For more Asian seafood inspiration check out this Thai BBQ salmon with Thai chimichurri!
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