Wrapped in banana leaves, fresh sea bass is steamed with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chilies and leeks.
First set up a steamer. Fill with one inch of water and place over medium-high heat. Refer to the lessons on Steaming for more information, if necessary.
To prepare the fish, first slice the lime. Cut off the bottom third of the lemongrass stalk and cut in half lengthwise. Thinly slice the chili on the bias and julienne the leeks. Gather the kaffir lime leaves and set aside.
You can cook the fish in one package, or you can cut it into two pieces and make individual packages – it’s up to you.
Fan the lime slices in the middle of the banana leaf and place the lemongrass over top. Season all sides of the fish with salt and place over the lemongrass. Place the kaffir lime leaves on top, followed by the chilies and leeks. Fold the bottom of the leaf over top of the fish. Fold the sides over and roll to close.
Place the package into the steamer basket, with the opening on the bottom of the basket, so the package doesn’t open during cooking.
Once the water is simmering, place the fish over the steamer and cover with a lid. Depending on the thickness and size of the fish, let steam for about 10 minutes or so. Until you are familiar with how quickly the fish steams, you can quickly unwrap the package and test the fish for doneness. If it is not done, quickly wrap and return it to the steamer.
Once done, you can either serve the package to each diner or you can open it and plate it first. Serve this dish alongside some steamed rice and enjoy!