I consider Chilean Sea Bass the king of the sea with its thick white flaky texture and delicate flavor almost reminiscent of King Crab but not as rich. This easy recipe uses banana leaves that create steam and lock in the flavor of the fish, herbs and spices.
We have several banana trees in the yard. They are easy to grow but are hard to get to fruit before the first freeze comes along. They die back in the winter but come back up in the spring. I did get one to flower last summer but the blossoms eventually dropped off.
If you don’t have banana leaves available, you can usually get some from a Latin market.
Cook / Prep Time – about 30 minutes
Servings – 2
- 2 – 6 oz. Chilean Sea Bass Filets, fresh or frozen
- 1 lb fresh asparagus
- 3 large banana leaves
- 1 small bunch baby leeks (or green onions)
- 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
- 3 tbsp herb butter
- 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (or something similar)
- 1/2 lemon, quartered
For the herb butter:
- 3 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
I mixed fresh dill, chives, thyme, rosemary and tarragon from my herb garden, but feel free to use any of your favorite herbs.
Step # 1 – If using frozen fish filets, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Prepare the herb butter by adding the chopped herbs and salt to the softened butter and mix well. Spoon the ball into wax paper and roll up into a tube shape. Place back in the refrigerator to harden.
Step # 2 – clean and trim the asparagus then parboil it in boiling water for just a few seconds until it turns bright green. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
Step # 3 – rinse the banana leaves and dry them with a paper towel. rinse the sea bass and pat dry with a paper towel. Set the three banana leaves on the counter and set the asparagus in the middle of one, and the fish filets in the middle of the other two.
Step # 4 – if you are using a charcoal grill, get the coals started. Season the fish and the asparagus with the lemon pepper and Cajun seasoning. Unroll the herb butter and add a tablespoon slice to each fish filet and the asparagus. Add the baby leeks, lemon wedge and rosemary sprigs to the fish and wrap each fish filet and the asparagus tightly with the banana leaves. Secure with toothpicks or use these ovenproof rubber bands like I used.
Step # 5 – if using a gas grill, turn on medium heat and preheat you oven to 400 degrees. Place the fish and asparagus in the banana leaves on the grill. Grill the asparagus for two minutes on each side and remove from the grill. Grill the fish for about 8 minutes per side and put all three leaf packages on an ovenproof tray and place in the oven for about 6 more minutes until the flesh of the fish is tender, white and flaky.
Unwrap the fish and asparagus and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Suggested music to listen to while preparing the Sea Bass…..
This is a sort of a tropical dish, so how about some reggae? It doesn’t get much better than Bob Marley and the Wailer’s “Legend” featuring all of his best songs on one album, recorded from 1972 – 1983.
And “The Name Game“ by Shirley Ellis from 1964. “ Banana nana fo fana fee fi mo mana – banana” !!