Steam-Baked Ocean Perch with Lemon and Snow Peas

Akadai no Gingami Mushi

The bright scarlet skin and sweet, firm, snowy flesh of ocean perch make it a prized fish in Japan, where the colors red and white mean happiness. This dish is sure to make calorie-counting Americans happy: less than 150 calories for this meaty entrée garnished with crisp, bright green snow peas.


  • 2 fillets ocean perch or redfish, 3-4 ounces each, scales removed but with skin intact
  • ½ tablespoon saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • pinch salt
  • 10 thin slices lemon
  • 6 fresh snow peas


  1. Rinse the fillets under cold running water, and pat the fish dry. Remove any belly bones with tweezers. Sprinkle the flesh of the fish with the rice wine, then lightly salt the flesh.
  2. Across the center of each of two 10 x 12-inch pieces of aluminum foil, arrange two slices of lemon, side by side. Lay a fillet of fish, with its bright red skin facing up, over each row of lemon slices. Arrange three more circles of lemon over each piece of fish, slightly overlapping the slices.
  3. Snap back the stem end of each snow pea and remove the string, if any. Stack the snow peas and slice them on the diagonal into julienne strips. Scatter these across the lemon slices on each piece of fish.
  4. Bring the edges of the foil together and seal each packet. Bring the water in the bottom of a steamer to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady flow of steam. Place the packets in the steamer, and cook 7-8 minutes. Serve the packets sealed, so that each person gets to enjoy the aroma as he or she opens the packet up at the table.