Chinese Black Sea Bass

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 2


Appears in

The New Basics Cookbook

By Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso

Published 1989

  • About

Here is our version of a longtime Chinese favorite, baked with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, and soy. You’ll find it most addictive.


  • 2 whole black sea bass (about 1 pound each), cleaned


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup Chopped scallions (green onions)


  1. On each side of the fish, make three diagonal cuts 2½ inches long and ½ inch deep.
  2. Stir the marinade ingredients in a small bowl, and spoon it over the fish, making sure it seeps into the cuts. Let the fish stand in the marinade, uncovered, at room temperature, for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  4. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a small skillet, and sauté the sesame seeds until golden, 1 minute. Stir in the ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, cornstarch, and water; stir until smooth. Stir this into the butter mixture, and heat to a simmer, stirring. Cook until slightly thickened, 1 minute. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Arrange the fish in a baking pan, and bake until it flakes easily, 15 minutes.
  6. Stir any accumulated pan juices and the chopped scallions into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the fish or serve alongside.