Baked Seabass With Soy Sauce, Spring Onions & Fennel

Soy sauce is made from fermenting soy beans in water – I’ve much to learn about the technique and process. I often find myself asking what is the difference between dark and light soy sauce. Dark soy has been fermented for much longer and has a thicker texture and is richer in taste. It is great for marinading red meats and making sauces as it has a caramel richness to it. Light soy sauce is thinner and saltier and is used to season and flavour dishes, similar to using salt. You can read more about soy sauce here on waiyeehong

Based on the famous and my favourite Hong Kong dish – Steamed Fish With Soy, Ginger & Spring Onion, I’ve developed this quick and easy recipe because my steamer wasn’t big enough to fit the fish – I decided to put it in the oven and it works perfectly.

For 2- 4 people

2 x Seabass/ Bream or Carp – whole, scaled and gutted
1 x Fennel – chopped in half centimetre rings (optional)
3 x Shallots – peeled and halved
1 x Bulb Garlic – un-peeled, halved
Thumb of Ginger – Sliced
1/2 x Lemon or Lime, (remove the skin because the skin makes it bitter)

For the Sauce

Dark & Light Soy Sauce – Pearl River Brand or Chin-Su Foods “Tam Thai Tu”
Splash of Chilli Oil
Spring Onion – diced
Cider Vinegar or Lime
Fresh Chilli or Chilli Sauce (Sriracha)

Garnish (optional)
Spring Onions – sliced long ways

Preheat the oven to 180.
Place the fish into a baking tray. Prepare the vegetables and stuff inside the fish and around the tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and cover with foil.
Bake for 40 mins, then remove the foil and bake further on fan assist or turn up to 250 for a further 10 mins till skin is golden brown and crispy.

In a hot sauce pan, add a splash of oil and sweat the spring onions being careful not to burn it.  Pour in about 50/50, (estimate 75ml altogether) of a mix of dark soy sauce and light soy sauce or use the Vietnamese brand of soy sauce. Add about a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of cider vinegar or lime juice. Taste for the balance of sweet, sour and salty. If it is too sweet, add more sour, if it is too salty add more sweet, if it is too sour add more sweet.

Add fresh chillis or chilli sauce (Sriracha). Then pour all over the tray of baked fish.
Garnish with coriander and/or strips of fresh spring onions.
Serve with rice or with rice paper to make summer rolls.