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Steamed Sea Bass with Lime and Ginger

This flaky, garlicky steamed sea bass with lime and spicy red chili is the perfect dinner over a bed of fluffy quinoa. Hints of lemongrass and soy sauce give it a fragrant Asian-inspired twist!

Flaky steamed sea bass with ginger-lime marinade over black quinoa.

Why You’ll Love This Steamed Chilean Sea Bass

If you’re looking for an Asian-inspired seafood dinner for your weeknights, this little clean-up steamed sea bass is it.

  • Fusion of flavors. This recipe is packed with fragrant Asian and herby Mediterranean ingredients.
  • Simple but fancy. The homemade lime-ginger marinade and perfectly cooked sea bass will make your guests think you spent all day in the kitchen.
  • Little oil. Since the fish is steamed and not sautéed, there’s very little oil involved.
  • Easy clean-up. Using foil packets means you won’t have to do that much cleaning after you’re done with the recipe.
Labeled ingredients for steamed sea bass.

What You’ll Need

Lemongrass and ginger create a naturally tingly sensation due to their spicy fragrance. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe card with exact amounts.

  • Lemongrass – It must be fresh so you can grate the white part.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic and garlic paste are best.
  • Red chili peppers – Red Thai chili peppers are my favorite, but red jalapeños work too.
  • Ginger – I love fresh ginger for this, but ground ginger swap.
  • Ground coriander – Make your own by processing coriander seeds until fine. Sieve the powder.
  • Soy sauce – Low-sodium soy sauce is preferred. You can also use coconut aminos.
  • Lime – Lemon juice can be used as well.
  • Olive oil – Vegetable, coconut, and canola oil all work.
  • Chilean sea bass – Make sure they’re boneless filets.
  • Parsley – Feel free to use dried parsley.
  • Quinoa – Use white, red, or black quinoa.

What Does Sea Bass Taste Like?

Sea bass has a mild, natural sweetness. The taste is slightly buttery once cooked too. It doesn’t have a very “fishy” odor or flavor, making it perfect for people who don’t enjoy strong seafood flavors.

Can I Use Different Types Of Fish?

Cod, halibut, haddock, and tilapia are good swaps for sea bass in this recipe. They’re firm and meaty, so use whichever you have on hand.

How Long To Steam Sea Bass?

The exact steaming time will depend on the thickness of your filets. Ones that are 2″ or less regularly take 15 minutes, while those that are thicker can take 20-30 minutes.

Collage with a bowl of lime-ginger sauce on the left and steamed sea bass with quinoa to the right.

Tips for Success

Making this easy oven-steamed sea bass is still possible by using the stove.

  • Marinate it longer. Add the fish and lime-ginger sauce to a large Ziploc bag. Seal it and shake well. Refrigerate it overnight so it can absorb more flavor.
  • Use the stove. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the sea bass with the skin facing downwards for 6-8 minutes or until crispy. Flip it over and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until tender and flaky. Set it aside.
  • Choose store-bought. Skip prep time by using your favorite store-bought ginger-lime dressing to marinate the fish in.
  • Watch the temperature. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of each filet once out of the oven. Aim for a 145F internal temperature. If not, cook for another 3-7 minutes or until you reach the temperature.
  • Make it spicy. Add 1/4-1/2 extra teaspoon red pepper flakes, chili oil, or Sriracha to the sauce for a kick of heat.

Serving Suggestions

This soy sauce-packed steamed sea bass is an easy dinner. Serve it with my Grilled Vegetable Plate or Roasted Bok Choy on the side. My Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sesame Roasted Asparagus are great too. If you prefer something warm and comforting, try my Immune Boosting Mushroom Soup.

Proper Storage

Store it in serving-size portions for quick reheating on weeknights.

  • Fridge: Place it in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat it: Microwave it in 20-second increments until warm. You can also use the pan (covered) over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes per side.

More Fish Recipes To Try

Steamed Sea Bass with Lime and Ginger

This garlicky steamed sea bass recipe with lime-ginger marinade and hints of lemongrass is an easy weeknight dinner with fluffy quinoa.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1/2 stick of lemon grass grated, about 3″
  • 1 clove garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon low salt soy sauce I use Kikkoman
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Chilian Sea Bass
  • Springs of Parsley for garnish
  • Quinoa I used black


  • In a small bowl combine grated lemon grass, garlic, chili seeds, ginger, lime zest and juice, coriander, soy sauce and olive oil.
  • Stir to combine
  • Meanwhile take a sharp knife and cut slits through the skin of your sea bass.
  • Then take 2′ heavy duty foil (if you don’t have heavy duty use two sheets of thinner) and place fish in center of foil.
  • Drizzle sauce over top of fish and bring ends of foil over top and crimp to make a tent over fish, then tightly crimp end pieces of foil.
  • Your fish should be completely enclosed and your foil should look a bit like a long boat of foil.
  • Place foiled fish in refrigerator for one hour.
  • When ready to cook preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • On middle rack place rimmed cookie sheet.
  • When over is ready place foil packet on cookie sheet.
  • Depending on the thickness of your fish, mine was 3 1/2″ thick, I cooked mine for 30 minutes. If your fish is 2″ or less in thickness it should take 15 minutes.
  • While fish is cooking cook quinoa.
  • Remove from oven and let rest 2-3 minutes.
  • Be careful when you open packet, steam will be released.
  • Place quinoa on plate and top with portion of the fish and drizzle bit of the liquid from the packet over Sea Bass and garnish with a few springs of Parsley.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American


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2 comments on “Steamed Sea Bass with Lime and Ginger”

  1. You know I’m not really a seafood person, but I do love the flavors in this dish, Amy! And the black quinoa is a striking contrast to the fish! Lovely!

    1. Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me
      Amy Stafford

      Thank you Jenni! I am making an effort to add more diverse seafood to our diet, tired of salmon. I like the black quinoa, its a bit hard to find, but Whole Foods always has it in stock. xo Amy

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