Friday, 10 June 2011

Some fresh Wild Seabass

Seabass is a fantastic ingredient at any time but we were lucky enough recently to get some ultra fresh wild fish in the restaurant. It’s a shame with anything this good to do too much to it and indeed this recipe keeps things fairly simple, complementing the fish and letting it sing as the star of the dish.

                Not only delicious, Seabass also rates well in terms of sustainability. Fish caught wild locally to us here in the UK rates as a ‘2’ (“still a good choice”) on the Marine Conservation Society’s scale of 1-5. The MCS website is well worth checking out at Here you can search on pretty much any fish and get a relatively simple run down on the pros and cons from a sustainability perspective. From there you can dig deeper, really get underneath the issue and gain an understanding of the many and complex issues surrounding the sustainability of our fish stocks.

                While you are on the subject, why not head over to for a chance to make a difference above and beyond your shopping choices. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has certainly brought a lot of publicity to the subject through his TV programmes and the ‘fight’ continues through this site and his visits to supermarkets, fishermen and the European Parliament.

Seabass with Crispy Potato, Bacon and Fennel Cress Salad

New potatoes
Nori dried seaweed
Fennel Cress
Olive oil

1.       Make a seaweed dressing by shredding the nori sheets and putting them into a sieve, pour boiling water over them and through the sieve. Put the cooked, wet sheets into a blender and blend with enough olive oil to give a pourable consistency.
2.       Steam the potatoes until cooking but still firm, slice lengthways to give approx two 1cm thick slices per potato.
3.       Dice the pancetta to give 1cm cubes, place in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, drain the pancetta, spread on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 160C
4.       Pin bone and portion the Seabass, making a couple of slashes in the skin.

To serve:
1.       In a hot pan, fry the potato slices in some clarified butter until crisp and browned, add the pancetta and toss to coat.
2.       Season and oil the fish before pan frying.
3.       Add the samphire to the bacon and potato mix and toss together until just wilted. Season the mix if required.
4.       Serve in a warm bowl, placing the fish on top of the mix, surrounded by the fennel cress with a drizzle of the seaweed dressing.

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