Black Bass With Ginger, Cilantro, and Scallions

Bass season opened the 3rd Saturday in June with a limit of five per day and only keeping those 12 inches or longer. The Finger Lakes have some of the best large mouth bass fishing in the state! Here is a recipe adapted from that impressively cooks the whole fish:

1 (3 pound) whole black bass, (large or small mouth) cleaned, leaving head and tail intact
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch scallions, white and pale green parts cut into very thin 2-inch strips and greens reserved, separately
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons white wine or sake
1/4 teaspoon sugar

For this recipe you will need a large shallow baking dish (about 15×10 inches) to fit inside a 17x12x2 1/2-inch roasting pan, and some heavy-duty foil.
Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees and then put the baking dish in roasting pan.

Rinse fish and pat dry, then rub inside and out with salt. Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with scallion strips (white and pale green), ginger, and cilantro.

Stir together the soy sauce, wine and sugar until sugar is dissolved, then pour over fish. Add enough boiling-hot water to the roasting pan (note: not the same pan that the fish is in!) to reach halfway up the side of the baking dish. Oil a large sheet of heavy-duty foil, then tent the foil (oiled side down) over the fish and tightly seal around the roasting pan. Carefully transfer the roasting pan to the oven and bake until the fish is just cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes.

While the fish bakes, cut enough scallion greens diagonally into very thin slices to measure a 1/2 cup (any remainder can be saved for another use).

Just before serving, remove the foil from fish very carefully. Gently transfer fish intact to a serving dish and sprinkle with scallion greens. Serves 8 family style.

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