BBQ Chinese-Style Seabass In Lotus Leaves Recipe

Little beats the fun of steaming fish in a giant leaf! Lotus leaves have a beautiful tea-like scent, and unwrapping the hot fish at the table envelops diners in aromatic steam. We've used ginger and spring onions as aromatics and the goji berries add a gentle sweetness.

Cooking on a kettle BBQ is a great option for summer, just place the coals to one side, and cook the fish over indirect heat with the lid on. Alternatively the recipe works just as well cooked in the oven, keeping a careful eye on it.

You can use this technique for any fish, and if you prefer to prepare ahead, just wrap the fish an hour or so in advance and set it aside in the fridge before cooking. For the sauce, either make it from scratch using the ingredients in the recipe below, or alternatively just use seasoned soy sauce for seafood. 


  • 6 lotus leaves
  • 3 large seabass (or 4-5 small), scaled and gutted
  • 2 inches ginger, peeledn and cut into julienned slices
  • 6 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 50g goji berries, in a mug with boiling water poured over them to rehydrate for 10 minutes

Sauce ingredients


  1. Prepare your BBQ for indirect cooking, or heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Soak the lotus leaves in water for 15-30 minutes until pliable.
  3. While the lotus leaves soak, mix together ingredients for the sauce: light soy sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing wine, sugar and water.
  4. Score the thick flesh of the fish to help the flavours penetrate. Make three long cuts on each side, running from the top fin to the open stomach. 
  5. For large fish, lay out two overlapping lotus leaves, and place the fish on top. For smaller fish, one lotus leaf will be fine. Divide the ginger, spring onion and drained goji berries between the fish parcels and sprinkle over the fish. Drizzle over 2 tbsp sauce into each of the fish parcels (1 tbsp for smaller fish), keeping the remaining sauce to serve at the table. Wrap up the fish, folding in the sides first, and then rolling. Hold closed with a toothpick.
  6. Cook on the BBQ for 20-30 minutes, over indirect heat to help prevent the parcels burning. Alternatively cook in the oven at 200°C, taking care the parcels do not touch the heating element. 
  7. To check if the fish is cooked, insert a probe thermometer through the leaf into the centre of the fish and check it 63°C.
  8. To serve, open the parcels at the table. Dilute the remaining sauce with an equal quantity of hot water, and use as a dipping sauce.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

BBQ Chinese-Style Seabass In Lotus Leaves Recipe

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