Ginger Lotus Sea Bass

Category – Fish/Main Course; Cuisine type – Vietnamese

Courtesy: BLUE JADE, Ritz Carlton, Jumeirah

Ginger Lotus Sea Bass where the Sea bass is cooked in Vietnamese Ginger Lemon Sauce, all the way wrapped in Lotus Leaf! Chef Ta Van takes us through a journey through the East, by picking up this dish, the recipe of which is passed on to him by his grandmother. So here’s a heritage dish, as I have experienced in my Masterclass in Blue Jade!

For the printable recipes →

Sea bass fillet – 200g, cut into half
Lemon grass – 20g, finely chopped
Onion shallot – 20g, finely chopped
Garlic – 25g, finely chopped
Galangal – 35g, finely chopped
Corn oil – 15ml
Oyster sauce – 20ml
Coriander – 20g
Mint leaves – 15g
Lime juice – 10ml
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Fresh lotus leaf – 1pc
Corn flour – 15g
Ginger – 20g
Shrimp paste – 10g

Method of Preparation

For the Vietnamese Ginger Lemon Sauce
• In a hot pot with Corn Oil, sauté the Lemon grass, Onions, Garlic, Ginger until it achieves a golden color
• Add in water or Fish Stock and bring to boil for 20 minutes
• Add the seasonings – Galangal, Fish sauce, Oyster sauce, Turmeric powder, Mint leaves, Lime juice and Shrimp paste
• Add in the Corn Flour for a thicker consistency
• Turn off the fire, set aside and let it cool down

For the Sea bass
• Marinate the Sea bass in the Vietnamese Ginger Lemon sauce
• Wrap the Sea bass using the lotus leaves
• Place the wrapped Sea bass in an oven pan and grill for about 8 minutes 250° Celsius
• Place the wrapped Sea bass on a plate serve alongside steamed Jasmine Rice

Notes on using Lotus Leaf
I’ve been fascinated by the way the Lotus leaf has been used in this dish (I’ve ended up making the above video as well). Once they have been washed in the running water, just hold the Lotus leaf over the fire (the rough side) for some time. This will prevent the leaf to tear up along the veins once it is folded to wrap up the filet. The use of leaves in different types of cuisine is not uncommon. Banana, Lotus, and even Tobacco leaves are used popularly as wrappers in Asia. Leaves make a wonderful insulator for cooking food. They seal in moisture and nutrients, yielding hot, flavorful dishes. Some leaves, such as cabbage, kale, romaine, and lotus leaves, influence the flavor of the food cooking in them, while others, such as banana leaves, remain neutral. While many leaves are edible, Lotus leaves are generally too fibrous to eat. {Some info from the web}

Note on Vietnamese Cuisine
While other Asian cuisine is considered to be spicy, traditional Vietnamese cooking is generally milder, focusing on fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, fragrant herbs and vegetables. It is also considered to be one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. I find Vietnamese dishes to be sweeter than other Asian dishes with the fragrance of sweet Basil leaf playing a very prominent role – even in terms of taste. {More on Vietnamese Cuisine}

Chef’s Note and Secret Tips
Is it really possible to try and recreate these dishes at home and where can I source these authentic Asian sauces and the Lotus leaf in Dubai for an authentic Vietnamese experience at home? Yes, it is possible. Chef Ta Van, gives out more tips –  one can buy some of the ingredients here in Dubai such as Sunflower supermarket in Karama (why am I not surprised? Even in my last recipe from ZUMA, Chef Reith had mentioned Karama!), where they sell many Asian ingredients. Can we substitute the Sea Bass for any other fish? Perhaps Cream Dory? According to Chef Ta Van, Cream Dory is too soft and the flesh will break up. The fish shouldn’t be too flaky once it’s cooked in the Ginger Lemon Sauce. {Sunflower Supermarket/Sunflower Thai grocery store – +971 4 396 4611, Google search throws up this location – Al Shafar Building located on Street 12D, off Kuwait Road and opp Dubai Municipality, in Karama}

{A complete listing of the recipes that I’m going to share over this period}


Masterclass at BLUE JADE, courtesy Ahlan! Gourmet

Blue Jade is a talisman of peace and serenity. It calms and restores, like a veil of slow moving clouds covering the moon. It is spiritual. It ranges in color from pale to mid-blue, sometimes a pale bluish-green, and is widely used to temper emotional upheaval and to restore equilibrium. {More here}

If I have to describe the Ginger Lotus Sea Bass in two words, it will have to be – stunning and beautiful. And it does restore the senses to an equilibrium! And I am thrilled that I have learnt to cook this ‘heritage’ Vietnamese dish as well. The first time I had tasted it, it was when the restaurant had just soft-launched. I joined in late for an exclusive ‘sit-down’ dinner at the restaurant – feeling very apologetic, only to be overwhelmed a few minutes later by the warmth and hospitality shown by Chef Eric Meloche, the Executive Chef and his team. I had missed out on the cooking demonstration given by Chef Ta Van earlier. Destiny favours them who are consistently persistent. So what I missed out on the other night was compensated by an invite from Olivia Spadavechia, the lovely editor from Ahlan! Gourmet, to join a Masterclass at Blue Jade. I am very fond of this lady – she is not only a passionate foodie, but also open to new dishes around the world. Otherwise, how would a relatively unknown Bengali food called Luchi be featured in the magazine as Luchi, and not some Bengali puffed up flatbreads deep fried crispily {Luchi Featured In Ahlan! Gourmet | My Ode To Phulko Luchi!}? So here I was, in a Masterclass where Chef Ta Van took us through a journey into the ‘authentic flavours’ of Asia, by showcasing a few of his favourite dishes. We learnt to cook (and of course eat) the Tempura Maki, Chicken Dim Sum with Bok Choi and Shitake mushrooms, the Ginger Lotus Sea Bass and finally the Vietnamese Banana Sago served with Coconut cream and Pandan Ice cream. I was almost besotted by the Lotus leaf as you can see from the above pictures. And what a beautiful way to present the dish, once the Sea bass was cooked – chop off a bit of the leaf so that each fillet seats snuggled up in individual leaf parcels. The thing I like most about Masterclasses is the opportunity I get to enter the kitchen of a hotel or a restaurant, see the way the expert Chefs cook and the little tips and the •secrets• that I get to snatch at moments. Moreover, the stacked up spice jars on the shelves and the home-made sauces, the pots and pans, the washing and the chopping, the stirring and the running – all these make me feel very comfortable, as if I am in a bigger version of my own kitchen.

Signing off from Blue Jade
The restaurant is open only for dinners. While it is very stately in it’s appearance in the night, entering the restaurant during the daytime for the Masterclass made me realize that it’s a shame that the regular diners would be missing the daytime grandeur of the restaurant. The huge verandah overlooking the sea, the branches of the date palm tree swaying in the breeze – oh, please open up the restaurant for lunch. While fusion food is the fashion of the day, tasting some simple, authentic flavorful food has it’s own charm. I am sure my food blogger friend Debbie, who writes Coffee, Cakes and Running, and who had attended the Masterclass with me, would agree to that. This was like déjavu – doing a Masterclass together. The last time had been in a very contrasting kitchen – the kitchen of a floating restaurant in the fishermen’s village, in a small island called Koh Klang in Thailand {Baan Ma-Yhing Restaurant In The Fishermen’s Village | Recipe of Thai Red Curry As We Cook ‘fresh catch’ Baramundi!}, where the cook cum owner – Bao taught us some exotic Southern Thai food.

Blue Jade, Ritz Carlton: –  A fine dining Pan Asian restaurant
Location: Ritz Carlton, on The Walk
Tel No: 971 4 318 6150; E-mail:
More info: Website, Facebook

Ramadan offering in Ritz Carlton
Al Waha Tent: The Ramadan tent is set amidst the new lush gardens of the resort, overlooking the the Palm Jumeirah and Arabian Gulf. The Iftar buffet consists of International dishes as well as traditional Arabic dishes such as Lamb Ouzi, Manakish and live Shawarma stations. {Iftar Buffet starts at sunset until 8:30pm and is priced at Dhs 200/person. An a la carte Suhour menu is available with minimum spend of Dhs 100/person from 8:30am upto 2:00am. Call +971 4 399 4000. More info here}


My previous post chalks out all about Ramdan in Dubai | Where All You Can Eat. During this entire month, I will be sharing special Ramadan recipes, gathered from many signature restaurants of top hotels in Dubai and around the region. I know that many people do not go out during Ramadan and prefer to cook at home. Most would like to cook special dishes, but they don’t have access to these restaurant recipes. Each hotel that I have contacted has graciously sent me the recipes. I have been inspired by Dima Sharif, who has a tradition of posting daily recipes on her blog during Ramadan. This year, she explains the tradition of Ramadan as it is observed in different countries. Do join her in her journey as well – Ramadan Special 2013 – A Focus on Ramadan Culture & The Spirit of Ramadan. Also, my blog giveaway – Theme Night Dinner invite for two’, courtesy, The Address Marina, runs throughout the month of Ramadan.

Click here to enter the Giveaway!

Do join me as I post special recipes from the various signature restaurants in Dubai – each hotel I have contacted have been really gracious and have handed over their special recipe. I hope you try out these recipes (assuming that a restaurant recipe is not difficult to cook!), send me pictures and do keep connected over Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Enjoy your summers and yes, do show off a BLUE JADE recipe to your guests. Happy Cooking!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

Disclaimer: The opinions stated here are my own and are independent. I hope you enjoy reading the posts with lot of visuals. Please do not use any material from this post. You can see more pictures of my travel and food journey here.

More on the various aspects of Ramadan from my blogger friends

Spirit of Ramadan – Dima Sharif
• The many sides of Ramadan and Iftar in Dubai – My Custard Pie
• My Ramadan: Suhoor through the Years – Arabic Zeal
• Where can I lunch over Ramadan in Dubai?…oh and breakfast too please – FooDiva
• Ramadan and iftar – what it means for the food traveller – The Hedonista
• Ramadan 101 – Coffee, Cakes and Running

Written by IshitaUnblogged

A Culinary Travel Blog by a Bong Gourmet. From Dubai, Kolkata & the world beyond, street food to fine dining, recipes to chef talks, it pens down experiences. With 2 kids in tow!


  1. This looks very interesting. Especially the use of Lotus leaf. I don’t think I have seen it around the market here. Now I’m curious!🙂

What do you have to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s