Whole Fried Black Bass with Green Beans & Sombal Black Bean Sauce

Straw Valley Food & Drink, Durham, North Carolina, Fred Dexheimer and Adam Rose - July/August 2014

Sombal/fermented black bean sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, cut into 8 cubes, plus 1 Tbsp.
  • 1/4 cup fermented black beans
  • 2 Tbsps. sombal oelek

Sweat ginger, garlic, and onion in 1 Tbsp. butter 1 minute; add beans and sambal oelek; reduce heat to low; incorporate butter 1 cube at a time to create emulsified sauce.

Haricots verts:

  • 2 tsps. ginger, minced
  • 2 tsps. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cooking oil
  • 1/4 lb. haricots verts, blanched
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Sweat ginger and garlic in oil; add beans; saute 1 minute; add soy sauce; cook until reduced; reserve.

Black bass:

  • black bass fillets, scored on an angle, 3/4" apart, creating crosshatch lines, 6 scores per side
  • rice flour
  • salt
  • cilantro (for garnish)
  1. Heat fryer to 375°F.

  2. Dredge fish in seasoned rice flour; bend fish into fry basket to make a C-shaped presentation; fry 5 1/2 minutes.

  3. Place fish on room temperature plate; pour sauce over fish; lean the haricots verts across middle of fish; garnish with cilantro.