Active Prep: 10 min. Inactive Prep: 6 hrs. 30 min.
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 2 servings

My first attempt at cloning this sea bass soaked in a sweet ginger-soy marinade infused with the flavor of oolong tea included loose oolong tea added to the sauce as it cooks, but I recently found out that is not the way P.F. Chang’s makes the dish. Rather than adding loose tea and straining it out before adding the fish, whole tea bags are kept in the marinade along with the fish as it soaks. After you take the fish out of the pan six hours later (and also remove the tea bags), the saucepan goes right on your stove to reduce the marinade within to a warm, flavorful sauce that is spooned over the baked fish before serving.


2 cups water
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
⅔ cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 oolong tea bags
2 8-ounce skinless sea bass fillets

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 handfuls fresh spinach
1 teaspoon minced garlic

How to prepare

  1. Make the marinade by combining all of the ingredients, except the tea bags, in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, let the sauce sit for 5 minutes, strain the sauce to remove the ginger and garlic, then pour the sauce back into the saucepan and add the tea bags. When the sauce has cooled for about 30 minutes, add the sea bass, cover, and marinate for 6 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. When you are ready to prepare the fish, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Arrange the fish on a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil and bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn dark brown. Remove the tea bags from the marinade and place the saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer while the fish cooks. It should thicken up a bit.
  4. As the fish is baking, heat up a wok or large skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the spinach and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or just until the spinach is beginning to wilt.
  5. When the sea bass is done, split the spinach onto two plates and carefully arrange the sea bass on top of the spinach. Use a spatula so that the fish does not fall apart. Spoon some warm sauce over the fish and serve. 
I found my oolong tea bags at Whole Foods. 

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