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Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe

This spicy butter-steamed bass recipe is a delightful dance of flavors. The tender sea bass fillets are delicately steamed with butter, given a kick of heat with chilies, and rounded off with the zesty aroma of lime and ginger. It's a perfect choice for those who appreciate the subtle complexities of seafood dishes.

Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe

Photos of Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe

Some of the ingredients in this recipe might not be found in your daily pantry, such as the sea bass fillets, fresh ginger, and the serrano chile. When you head to the supermarket, you may find sea bass in the seafood section. Fresh ginger is usually available in the produce area, and its distinct spicy aroma makes it easy to identify. As for the serrano chile, it's a type of hot chili pepper that's commonly used in Mexican and Asian cuisines, and can typically be found in the fresh produce or international foods sections.

Ingredients for the Spicy Butter-steamed Bass

Sea bass fillets: This is a type of fish known for its lean, white flesh, and mild flavor which makes it versatile in many recipes.

Fresh ginger: It has a spicy, zesty flavor that adds a punch to the dish.

Serrano chile: This pepper is known for its fiery heat and fresh, crisp flavor.

Garlic clove: It adds a savory depth to the dish.

Lime: Brings a tangy freshness, balancing the spices.

Salt and freshly ground pepper: Seasonings to enhance the natural flavors of the other ingredients.

Unsalted butter: Adds a creamy richness to the dish.

Cilantro leaves: Contributes a fresh, herby note.

Scallion: Provides a mild, onion-like flavor.

One reader, Brien Basile says:

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This spicy butter-steamed bass recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are perfectly balanced, and the fish comes out tender and juicy. The combination of ginger, chile, and lime creates a burst of deliciousness. It's a must-try for anyone who loves a little kick in their seafood dishes.

Brien Basile

Techniques Required for Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe

How to prepare the sea bass fillets: 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.

How to make the steamer: Arrange 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.

How To Make Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

This steamed bass is dredged with garlic, ginger, and zest mix, dotted with butter, and a dash of lime juice, to yield a flaky and tender dinner meal!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • 28ozsea bass fillets,(4 fillets), or red snapper with skin
  • fresh ginger,(1 piece)
  • 1serrano chile
  • 1small garlic clove
  • 1lime,juiced, finely grated zest
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4tbspunsalted butter
  • cilantro leaves,chopped
  • scallion,sliced


  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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Using a spatula, transfer the fillets to shallow bowls and spoon the buttery broth on top.

  6. Garnish with cilantro and scallion and serve. Enjoy!


  • Calories: 321.16kcal
  • Fat: 15.74g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.37g
  • Trans Fat: 0.47g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3.88g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.96g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.64g
  • Fiber: 1.25g
  • Sugar: 0.77g
  • Protein: 37.42g
  • Cholesterol: 111.89mg
  • Sodium: 598.31mg
  • Calcium: 38.93mg
  • Potassium: 652.25mg
  • Iron: 0.96mg
  • Vitamin A: 198.23µg
  • Vitamin C: 7.55mg

Technique Tip for Perfecting Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

When steaming fish, it's important to keep a close eye on the cooking process. Overcooked fish can become tough and lose its delicate flavor. The fish is done when it becomes opaque and flakes easily with a fork. If you're unsure, it's better to undercook it slightly, as the residual heat will continue to cook the fish even after it's removed from the heat. Also, using fresh ginger and garlic in this recipe will give a more vibrant and aromatic flavor to the sea bass.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all the ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use pre-made spice blends: Utilize pre-made spice blends to cut down on measuring and mixing individual spices.

One-pot cooking: Opt for one-pot or one-pan recipes to minimize clean-up and save time.

Batch cooking: Prepare larger quantities and freeze individual portions for quick and convenient meals later.

Invest in kitchen tools: Invest in time-saving kitchen tools such as a food processor or a mandoline slicer.

Plan your meals: Plan your meals for the week ahead of time to avoid last-minute decision-making and reduce prep time.

Follow the recipe: Follow the recipe closely to avoid mistakes that could lead to time-consuming fixes.

Organize your workspace: Keep your kitchen organized and tidy to work efficiently and avoid wasting time searching for ingredients and tools.

Substitute Ingredients For Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe

  • sea bass fillets - Substitute with snapper fillets: Both are firm, white fish with a mild flavor, making snapper a suitable alternative for sea bass in this recipe.

  • fresh ginger - Substitute with ground ginger: Ground ginger can be used as a substitute for fresh ginger in this recipe, providing a similar flavor profile with a slightly different texture.

  • serrano chile - Substitute with jalapeño: Jalapeño peppers can be used as a substitute for serrano chiles, offering a similar level of spiciness and flavor to the dish.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with ghee: Ghee can be used as a substitute for unsalted butter in this recipe, adding a rich, nutty flavor to the dish.

  • cilantro leaves - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can be used as a substitute for cilantro leaves, providing a fresh, herbaceous flavor to the dish.

  • scallion - Substitute with chives: Chives can be used as a substitute for scallions, offering a mild onion flavor to the dish.

Presentation Ideas for Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

  1. Elevate the fish fillets: Gently place the steamed bass fillets in shallow, wide bowls to showcase the delicate texture and vibrant colors of the dish.

  2. Garnish with precision: Artfully sprinkle the cilantro leaves and finely chopped scallions over the buttery broth to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.

  3. Create a harmonious composition: Arrange the fish fillets in a visually appealing manner, ensuring that each element of the dish complements the others for a balanced and elegant presentation.

  4. Incorporate subtle accents: Consider adding a touch of edible flowers or microgreens to add a hint of sophistication and elevate the overall visual appeal of the dish.

  5. Focus on plate aesthetics: Pay attention to the placement of each component, ensuring that the dish is visually striking and exudes an air of refinement and artistry.

  6. Emphasize attention to detail: Use fine tweezers to delicately position the garnishes, demonstrating precision and care in the presentation of the spicy butter-steamed bass.

Essential Tools for Making Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

  • Knife: A sharp tool used for cutting and slicing ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A flat board used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Steamer: A cooking tool used to cook food with steam.
  • Large glass or ceramic pie plate: A dish used for baking and serving food.
  • Small bowl: A container used for mixing and preparing small amounts of ingredients.
  • Aluminum foil: A thin, pliable sheet of metal used for covering and wrapping food.
  • Skillet: A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and cooking food.
  • Spatula: A kitchen tool with a broad, flat blade used for lifting and flipping food.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for mixing and combining ingredients.
  • Lid or aluminum foil: Covering used for trapping heat and steam while cooking.
  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.

Storing and Freezing Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

  • To store leftover spicy butter-steamed bass, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • When reheating, place the fish in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave, covered, on medium power for 1-2 minutes.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the cooked bass fillets. Wrap each fillet tightly in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Label with the date and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To thaw frozen steamed bass, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Reheat as described above.
  • Note: The texture of the fish may change slightly after freezing and thawing, but the flavor should remain delicious. For best results, consume within 1 month of freezing.

How To Reheat Leftover Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

  • Reheat the leftover spicy butter-steamed bass in a steamer basket over simmering water for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through. This method helps to retain the fish's moisture and delicate texture while reviving the flavors of the ginger, serrano chile, and garlic.

  • For a quicker option, place the leftover fish fillets in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the fish to become dry and rubbery.

  • If you prefer a crispy skin, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover sea bass fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the skin with a small amount of unsalted butter. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the fish is heated through.

  • For a pan-seared option, heat a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add the leftover fish fillets, skin side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin is crispy. Flip the fillets and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

  • To reheat the buttery broth, pour it into a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. If the broth has thickened, you can add a splash of water or lime juice to thin it out. Pour the warm broth over the reheated fish fillets and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and scallion before serving.

Interesting Fact About Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

Sea bass is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health and brain function.

Is Making Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass at Home Cost-Effective?

This spicy butter-steamed bass recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as sea bass fillets and ginger, are relatively affordable and widely available. The addition of serrano chile and lime adds a burst of flavor without significantly increasing the cost. The recipe's simplicity also makes it a budget-friendly option. Overall, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its affordability and delicious outcome. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $25-$30, making it a reasonable choice for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

Is This Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe Healthy?

This spicy butter-steamed bass recipe is relatively healthy, as it incorporates several nutritious ingredients:

  • Sea bass is a lean protein source, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart and brain health
  • Ginger, serrano chile, and garlic offer anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties
  • Lime provides vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption and immune function
  • Cilantro and scallion add fresh, vibrant flavors and contain antioxidants

However, the recipe does call for 4 tablespoons of butter, which can contribute to high saturated fat content if consumed in excess.

To further enhance the nutritional value of this dish, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of butter used, or replace it with a healthier alternative like olive oil or coconut oil
  • Incorporate additional vegetables, such as sliced bell peppers or bok choy, to increase fiber and nutrient content
  • Serve the bass with a side of quinoa, brown rice, or cauliflower rice for a balanced meal
  • Use low-sodium soy sauce or tamari instead of salt to reduce sodium intake
  • Experiment with other herbs and spices, like turmeric or lemongrass, for added flavor and health benefits

By making these minor adjustments, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal that showcases the natural flavors of the ingredients while supporting your overall well-being.

Editor's Opinion on This Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe

This spicy butter-steamed bass recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The use of ginger, serrano chile, and garlic adds a punch of heat and aroma, while the buttery broth creates a luscious and indulgent finish. The steaming method ensures the fish remains moist and tender, allowing the flavors to infuse beautifully. The addition of cilantro and scallion provides a fresh and vibrant touch, elevating the dish to a whole new level. Overall, this recipe is a perfect balance of spicy, savory, and refreshing elements, making it a delightful and impressive dish to serve.

Enhance Your Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted to perfection with a hint of garlic and lemon zest.
Mango Salsa: Freshly diced mango mixed with red onion, cilantro, and a splash of lime juice for a sweet and tangy side dish.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes infused with roasted garlic and a touch of butter for a comforting and flavorful accompaniment to the spicy butter-steamed bass.

Similar Recipes to Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

Spicy Grilled Shrimp Tacos: Grill the shrimp and assemble the tacos with fresh toppings and a spicy sauce for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Create a rich and creamy risotto using arborio rice, mushrooms, and flavorful broth for a comforting and indulgent dish.
Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots: Roast carrots with a honey glaze for a sweet and savory side dish that pairs perfectly with any main course.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: Combine mango, coconut milk, and chia seeds to create a refreshing and healthy dessert or snack option.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a delectable appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Whip up a tropical-inspired appetizer by coating shrimp in a crispy coconut breading. Fry until golden brown and serve with a tangy dipping sauce for a delightful flavor combination.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of baked apples, cinnamon, and a crunchy oat topping. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast of temperatures and textures.

Why trust this Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe:

This recipe guarantees freshness and flavor, using only the finest ingredients. The sea bass is sourced from reputable suppliers, ensuring top quality. The ginger, serrano chile, and garlic provide a burst of aromatic and spicy notes, while the lime adds a zesty kick. The butter enriches the dish with its creamy texture, and the cilantro and scallion offer a vibrant finish. Trust in the expertise behind this recipe, as it promises a delightful and satisfying dining experience.

Have you tried this Spicy Butter-Steamed Bass Recipe? Let us know how it turned out in the Recipe Sharing forum!
How can I adjust the spiciness level of the dish?
You can adjust the spiciness level by adding more or less serrano chile. For a milder flavor, you can remove the seeds and membrane from the chile before adding it to the dish.
Can I use a different type of fish for this recipe?
Yes, you can use other types of white fish such as cod, halibut, or snapper if sea bass is not available. The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the thickness of the fillets.
Is there a substitute for unsalted butter?
If you prefer, you can use olive oil or ghee as a substitute for unsalted butter in this recipe. Both options will add a rich flavor to the dish.
Can I prepare this dish without a steamer?
If you don't have a steamer, you can create a makeshift steamer by placing a heatproof bowl or rack in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add water to the pot, place the fish in the bowl or on the rack, cover, and steam as directed in the recipe.
How do I know when the fish is done steaming?
The fish is done steaming when it flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become dry. Check for doneness after 5 minutes of steaming, and adjust the cooking time as needed based on the thickness of the fillets.

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