Tender blanched Savoy cabbage leaves make a wrapper for the bass and julienned vegetables. The packet traps the steam inside to keep the fish moist while it cooks and makes for a stunning presentation when nestled into the broth.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, October 2020


Recipe Summary

30 mins
1 hr


Bass Packets


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare broth: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, shallot and lemongrass and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add clam juice, water, coconut milk and curry powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Season with sugar and salt. Set aside.

  • To prepare bass packets: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water nearby. Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling water until pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. With tongs, immediately transfer the leaves to the ice water. Drain, pat dry and set aside.

  • Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Cook carrot just until tender, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Cook fennel just until tender, about 3 minutes. Add to the carrot. Cook shiitakes for 30 seconds. Drain and toss with the carrot mixture.

  • Trim the tough center stem from each cabbage leaf. Lay a 16-inch-long sheet of heavyweight plastic wrap on a work surface and place 2 cabbage leaves in the center, overlapping them by about 2 inches. Arrange one-fourth of the carrot mixture across the center of the cabbage. Top with 2 tarragon leaves. Place a piece of fish on top and sprinkle with 1/4 of the salt and pepper. Wrap the cabbage leaves around the bass, roll up the packets in plastic and twist the ends tightly; trim excess plastic with scissors. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves, vegetables, tarragon and bass.

  • Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add the packets and steam until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. (See Tip, below.)

  • Bring the reserved broth back to a boil. Unwrap the packets (discard the plastic) and cut each one in half. Place 2 halves in each of 4 shallow bowls and ladle the broth around them. Garnish with tomato, scallion and lime juice. Serve immediately.


To make ahead: Refrigerate broth (Step 1) for up to 2 days. Refrigerate packets (Step 4) for up to 6 hours.

Equipment: Heavyweight plastic wrap

Tip: To test for doneness, insert a metal skewer into the fish, then touch the tip to your wrist. If it's warm but not hot, the fish is properly cooked.

Nutrition Facts

1 packet
169 calories; protein 24.5g; carbohydrates 9.4g; dietary fiber 3.1g; sugars 2.8g; fat 4.1g; saturated fat 0.9g; cholesterol 52.9mg; vitamin a iu 2673IU; vitamin c 17.7mg; folate 49mcg; calcium 71.3mg; iron 1.8mg; magnesium 87.7mg; potassium 806.5mg; sodium 433.3mg.