Lapsang-Smoked Sea Bass with Tamarind Garam Masala Glaze

This recipe comes courtesy of Deborah Pappalau. “Lapsang is a tea from China that has a strong woodsy aroma from being roasted over pinewood. It reminds me of a favorite Indian tandoori sea bass from a restaurant in Santa Monica that we used to go to. The fish is firm but very moist with a slightly smoky flavor. In this recipe, I used Lapsang Souchong to create smoke and as an ingredient in the rub mixture. A stovetop smoker or wok is ideal but you can also make this dish in your oven or on an outdoor grill by placing the smoking spices in a smoker box,” she notes. Yield 3-4.
By / Photography By Naomi Henry | March 09, 2016


Using a mortar and pestle or small food processor, grind all spice rub ingredients to a coarse powder. Reserve 1 teaspoon rub for the glaze. Coat sea bass filets with rub mixture and refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a roasting pan with foil. Sprinkle tea, brown sugar and rice mixture on shallow roasting pan. Spray a wire rack with vegetable oil cooking spray and place over the roasting pan. Place in oven.

When tea begins to smoke, about 5 minutes, place sea bass filets on rack and cover completely with foil. Bake about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, and simmer until glaze thickens.

Remove foil from fish and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through.

Brush with additional glaze and serve with basmati rice and steamed asparagus or vegetable of your choice.

* Tamarind chutney can be found at Indian or specialty grocers.

Related Stories & Recipes

A Good Cup

In a world full of all kinds of nutrition misinformation and hype, here’s some news that’s easy to swallow: Drinking tea—especially green tea—is likely good for your health. Tea is a good source of...

The World in a Teacup

A story about tea in Ventura County would not be complete without David De Candia, senior director of tea at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf facility in Camarillo. The global company started here 53&nb...

French Toast with Orange-Rooibos Syrup

This recipe comes courtesy of Donna Kashola, owner of All Things Tea in Camarillo, and is adapted from A Touch of Rooibos (Rooibos Ltd., 2009). Rooibos tea has notes of honey and spice, which make it ...

Chocolate-Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes

Chocolate and matcha green tea are a natural pairing in these light-brown cupcakes, whose texture is a cupcake-muffin cross. Our taste-testers liked the cupcakes even without frosting and said they co...


  • 1 pound sea bass or other firm white fish, such as halibut
  • 1 tablespoon Lapsang Souchong loose-leaf tea
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon uncooked rice
Spice Rub
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Lapsang Souchong loose-leaf tea
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind chutney* (hoisin sauce can be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon spice rub mixture
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60