Steamed Sea Bass with Wasabe Pea Dust, Yam "Spaghetti", and Grapefruit Jam


Many people think that steamed food is boring food.  That doesn’t have to be the case. This week we will build on the no-oil trend by cooking with steam and building flavor with Chinese five spice, ginger juice, and wasabi peas.  Not only is steaming a quick and easy method, but the creative use of herbs, spices and low-calorie marinades can produce flavorful, moist, and healthy results. While the following recipe looks long, it is rather low in fat, easy to prepare, and makes an artful presentation. The fish steams in 4 minutes and the yam ‘spaghetti’ steams in 10 minutes. No oil is used, the colors are vibrant, and the fish glistens.


STEAMED SEABASS KABOBS WITH WASABI PEA DUST, 5-SPICE YAM “SPAGHETTI”, AND GRAPEFRUIT JAM (315 calories per serving) (an original Patrician Palette Recipe)

Serves 4

SPECIAL TOOLS:  mandolin, two small bamboo steamers, 8 knotted bamboo skewers (all available at Sur La Table)


1 lb yam, peeled, julienned (543 calories)

5 fluid ounce bottle of Ginger Juice (the Ginger People brand) (20 calories)

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar (45 calories)


2 six-ounce portions of Chilean sea bass, cut into approximately twenty 1 ¼” cubes (328 calories)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped

zest of one lemon


1 pink grapefruit, skin cut away, segmented, chopped, juice reserved (97 calories)

1 large clove garlic, minced

3 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped (21 calories)

2 tablespoons agave syrup (120 calories)


Satsuma mandarin leaves or banana leaf

1/3 cup wasabi peas, coarsely ground (80 calories)

flakey sea salt


  • YAM “SPAGHETTI”: Shake the bottle of Ginger Juice to dissolve the chunk of ginger.  In a large bowl, toss the julienned yam, Chinese five spice, and brown sugar with the Ginger Juice.  Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
  • GRAPEFRUIT JAM: Cut the top and bottom off of the grapefruit to create a flat surface.  Shave the peal away by cutting from top to bottom to reveal the pink flesh.  Hold the grapefruit over a bowl to catch any juice and cut the segments away from the skin.  Chop the wedges into dice and return to the bowl.  Squeeze the juice of the grapefruit membrane into the bowl.  Add the garlic, shallot and agave syrup.  Transfer to a small pot, and simmer until the pulp breaks down and the juice turns into a thick pink syrup.
  • HERBED SEA BASS: Combine the lemon zest, garlic, and herbs then rub over the surface of the cubed sea bass.  (Whole Foods’ fish department sells an herbed sea bass if you’d like to save some time).  Make four kebabs with three cubes of fish and four kebabs with two cubes of fish. Leave air space between each cube.
  • STEAMING: Use two small bamboo steamers (each with two shelves).  Line each shelf with Satsuma orange leaves.  Fill one steamer set with yams and the other with fish. Make sure the lids slide on securely. Set two pans on the stove. Fill each with a half inch of water and bring to a simmer. Start with the yams and place the steamer over the water. (Water should not touch the food.) Steam the yams for 10 minutes.  Six minutes after you start the yams, steam the fish over the other pan for 4 minutes. (If possible, avoid setting the steamers directly in water.)

PRESENTATION: Lay a steamed Satsuma leaf on each plate (decoration only).  Top with a mound of yam spaghetti.  Criss-cross two sea bass kabobs over the spaghetti.  Sprinkle the kebabs with a generous amount of the wasabe pea crumbs.  Sprinkle with flakey sea salt.  Garnish with a teaspoon of grapefruit jam on the side.

Calorie information from and product packaging.