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Smoking meat and fish with tea leaves is a traditional Szechuan technique that’s now popular with restaurant chefs. It can be easily done at home in the oven. Red tea infuses sea bass with fragrant smokiness and a slight nutty flavor.
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons red tea (rooibos) leaves, divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon McCormick® Ginger, Ground
4 skinless sea bass fillets (6 ounces each)
3 tablespoons uncooked long grain white rice
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup French bread cubes (1/2-inch)
2 McCormick® Cinnamon Sticks
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
2 cups plum slices
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons plum jam
1 green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
For the Sea Bass, mix soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the red tea leaves, garlic and ginger in small bowl until well blended. Place sea bass in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line large roasting pan with foil. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons red tea leaves, rice and sugar. Spread evenly in bottom of pan. Place a metal rack in pan. Place fish and marinade in disposable pie plate. Place pie plate on rack. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil.
Bake on lowest rack in oven 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Meanwhile, melt butter in medium skillet on medium heat. Add bread cubes and cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle bread with ground cinnamon; cook and stir 5 minutes or until bread cubes are toasted. Remove bread cubes, reserving cinnamon sticks in skillet. Add plums to skillet; cook and stir until plums begin to caramelize. Add jam, water and juices in pie plate from cooked fish; cook and stir gently to glaze plums. To serve, spoon glazed plums onto each of 4 plates. Top with croutons and sea bass. Sprinkle with green onion.
• Red tea or rooibos tea comes from the South African red bush. It is reddish in color and is naturally sweet, slightly nutty, and caffeine-free.
(Amount per serving)