30 October, 2019

Cook Like A Pro: A Must-Try Sea Bass Recipe From Uma Nota

30 October, 2019

Chef Gustavo of Uma Nota shares his popular “Roasted Sea Bass Fillet In Banana Leaf” recipe.

Fresh, quick and easy are the only three things we like to hear when it comes to cooking. That’s why we’re very excited to learn the secrets behind Chef Gustavo’s popular “Roasted Sea Bass Fillet In Banana Leaf” this month. This simple fish recipe from Uma Nota’s head chef ticks all those boxes and then some! Think lively Brazilian flavours matched with beautiful local produce. We know your mouth is watering already…

Ahead, discover the recipe for one of Uma Nota’s most loved dishes. Rest assured, it’s Hong Kong kitchen-friendly (i.e. there’s no oven required) and suitable for beginners!

Read more: Cook Like A Pro: TokyoLima’s Tuna Tartare Recipe

Cook Like A Pro: Chef Gustavo, Uma Nota

“This is a dish inspired by the time spent by the beaches near Bahia state in Brazil, enjoying fresh fish at local restaurants that specialise in seafood.”

Cook Like A Pro: Chef Gustavo, Uma Nota

“It’s an easy and fun dish for home cooks to start experimenting with Brazilian cooking methods and flavours. Cooking in banana leaf is common to Brazilian cuisine; it’s a method of cooking seafood that both maintains the moisture and imparts a subtle flavour of roasted banana. In the restaurant we roast in the oven, but this can easily be done in a pan over a domestic stove.”

Cook Like A Pro: Roasted Sea Bass Fillet

Roasted Sea Bass Fillet In Banana Leaf With Fried Banana And Farofa
(Serves Two)


2 fresh fillets of sea bass (skin on and boneless, ask your local fishmonger to do this)
1 large banana leaf (readily available at the local wet market or specialty supermarkets)
1 tbsp olive oil

For the Brazilian Vinaigrette

1 tomato (diced, seeds removed)
Half a red onion (thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for 10 minutes)
Handful of parsley (roughly chopped)
Handful of coriander (roughly chopped)
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Fresh black pepper (fine grind)

For the Garnish

5 tbsp polenta
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 ripe banana plantain (sliced to 1cm thick pieces)


  1. For the Brazilian Vinaigrette, combine the tomato, red onion, parsley, coriander, olive oil and white wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for later. Prepare an hour in advance for maximum flavour.
  2. Microwave the banana leaf on high for 30 seconds. Divide into two pieces.
  3. Season the sea bass fillets with 1 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap the fish fillets separately in a banana leaf piece each. The fillets should sit lengthways and each leaf should wrap twice over.
  5. In a low heat pan, melt butter.
  6. Add polenta and cook until crispy and fragrant. Season to taste with salt.
  7. Heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the wrapped fish fillets and cook for 5 minutes each side. Use a meat thermometre to read 50 to 55 degrees celsius.
  8. In a separate medium-high heated pan, lightly fry the banana plantain in olive oil.
  9. To serve, cut open the banana leaf fish parcels and add the slices of fried plantain on the side. Sprinkle over the crispy polenta. Finally, layer the Brazilian Vinaigrette over the fish fillets.

All images courtesy of Uma Nota.

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