Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

Topping the bass fillets with pats of supercreamy butter before steaming them creates an instant sauce as the butter melts into the fragrant fish and lime juices.

Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass
Photo: © Amy Sims
Total Time:
30 mins


  • Four 7-ounce sea bass or red snapper fillets with skin

  • One 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks

  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced

  • 1 small garlic clove, minced

  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • Chopped cilantro leaves and sliced scallion, for garnish


  1. With a knife, make 4 shallow slashes in the skin of each fish fillet and place them in a large glass or ceramic pie plate, skin side up. In a small bowl, combine the ginger, chile, garlic, and lime zest and sprinkle the mixture over the fish. Season with salt and pepper and dot with the butter. Drizzle the lime juice on top.

  2. Make a steamer by arranging 3 small balls of aluminum foil in a very large, deep skillet. Add 1 inch of water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Carefully set the pie plate on the foil balls, cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil and steam for 5 minutes, or until the fish flakes with a fork. Using a spatula, transfer the fillets to shallow bowls and spoon the buttery broth on top. Garnish with the cilantro and scallion and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Zippy, melony Sauvignon Blanc.

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