All Easy Recipes. Cook all that you can cook. Clear Soup With Sea Bass
(Botan Wan)
What You Need:            (To Serve: 4)
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  • A 2-pound sea bass, filleted but with the skin left on
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sake (rice wine)
  • A 7-ounce bottle junsai (wild vegetables)
  • 1 quart sumashi
  • 4 very thin slices lime

  • How To Cook:
    1. Cut the fillets in half crosswise and place them skin side down on a cutting board. With a sharp, heavy knife, cut them crosswise at 1/8 inch intervals almost down to the skin, but do not cut through it. The sliced fish will open up when poached and resemble a peony, or botan in Japanese.

    2. Sprinkle the fish lightly with teaspoon of salt; then, through a sieve or sifter, sift 2 tablespoons of cornstarch evenly over it.

    3. In a 1-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Poach the fish, one piece at a time, by placing it on a wide spatula, lowering the spatula into the boiling water for 15 seconds, then sliding the fish onto a heatproof platter.

    4. When all the fish has been poached and arranged side by side, sprinkle the pieces evenly with 1 tablespoon of sake. Now steam the fish for 5 minutes, either in an Oriental steamer or in the improvised steamer.

    5. Meanwhile, bring 2cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the junsai and return to a boil. Strain at once and discard the water.

    6. Cook the sumashi over moderate heat until it reaches a simmer. Divide the junsai evenly among 4 soup bowls, add a piece of the steamed fish to each and garnish with a thin slice of lime.

    7. Fill each bowl with the hot soup, pouring it down the side of the bowl to avoid disturbing the decorative arrangement. Serve at once.

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