Straits Origami Sea Bass — made by me!

Last week after going to our first cooking class and learning how to make fish steamed in parchment paper, the first thought that came to mind afterwards was, “Hey. Maybe I can trying making the Origami Sea Bass from Straits!”. ( remember back in college when we first starting going to the original Straits in Palo Alto, when you would actually see owner/proprietor Chris Yeo there in his chefs coat and black striped pants. At the time it was sort of a big deal eating at this kind of restaurant. Singaporean food was just starting to show up in the Bay Area and it seemed new and different, sort of ‘hip’ you could say. Alas, that original location is no longer there, as Chris Yeo has moved onto bigger and better things. His first swanky/loungey restaurant after Straits was Sino in Santana Row which became immensely popular (still is), especially its bar & lounge area. Last time I saw him there (at Sino), he was no longer wearing chefs coat and striped pants, but a fedora looking hat and a hipster outfit. Now, he has several fancier Straits restaurants throughout the bay area, and more popping up in other cities. He’s definitely moved on..good for him!

Ever since the first time I went to the original Palo Alto Straits, their signature dish has been and still is their Origami Sea Bass. The first time I saw it, I thought it was so cool that it came in a paper box, with an orchid flower. I had never really seen anything plated that way. Sea bass used to be my favorite fish, so needless to say it was quite delicious!

I finally got all the ingredients to make this dish, with help from SW, who got the dried Asian ingredients from his mom and decided to try last night..

The recipe I used was from:

and yes, I could have wrapped the fish in any way with parchment paper, but then it wouldn’t be the same! So I looked up how to fold the box, courtesy of the Martha Stewart Show:

Assembly Line…yes. i made 3 portions for 2 people 😛

All ready to pop into the oven for about 12 minutes…
I was trying to figure out what would be a good side dish, so where better to look then on the Straits Menu for inspiration. There was a wok-fired brussel sprouts with chili garlic sambal. I decided to make my own version with garlic, chili garlic sauce, and thai shrimp paste.
ta da! here is the final product:
Once I had the ingredients, and figured out how to fold the box, the sea bass was actually really easy to make! The fish came out perfectly steamed and the flavors tasted just like the restaurant! A scoop of rice and the brussel sprouts, and the meal was complete. I just wish I had time to get some roti prata as an appetizer. Oh well! Maybe next time!

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