Make this roast fillet of sea bass, then take a look at our sea bass with fermented chilli, sea bass ceviche and more sea bass recipes.

At Mount St, this dish is served with herb oil. To make it at home, whizz 20g of dill, parsley or basil with 180ml of rapeseed oil. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then strain.

Saffron is a key ingredient in this dish. Read our guide on what is saffron and where to buy it for advice on purchasing this fragrant spice.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
  • 1kg rock fish (small gurnard or red mullet), scales, guts and heads removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • ¼ tsp coriander seeds
  • large pinch of saffron
  • 50g tomato purée
  • 200ml white wine
  • 500ml fish stock
  • 250ml passata
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large potato, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1cm cubes
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 10g flat-leaf parsley, stalks and leaves separated
  • 300g each of mussels, clams, cockles, cleaned and debearded
  • 4 x 140g portions of sea bass
  • lemon juice to taste
  • herb oil to serve (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide, deep pan over a medium heat and sear the rock fish for 4-5 mins or until golden. Remove to a plate. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, star anise, coriander seeds and saffron to the same pan and fry for 2 mins. Add the tomato purée and cook for 2 mins. Pour in the wine, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 3-4 mins or until reduced by half. Return the fish to the pan along with the stock, passata and tomatoes. Simmer over a low heat for 1 hr. Remove the star anise and as many fish bones as possible, then transfer to a blender and blitz until as smooth as possible. Pass through a sieve and discard any pulp. Season to taste, then cover and set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Cook the potatoes and fennel in a large pan of boiling salted water for 1½-2 mins or until just tender. Drain and tip into a bowl of iced water. Once cool, drain and put in a bowl with the cucumber.

  • STEP 3

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide, lidded frying pan over a low heat and fry the shallots for 2-3 mins or until just soft. Add the parsley stalks and all the cleaned shellfish. Cover and cook for 1-2 mins, shaking the pan often until the shellfish has opened. Remove any unopened shells. Drain the shellfish, reserving the cooking liquid, and cool. Once cooled, pick the fish from the shells.

  • STEP 4

    Season the seabass. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the seabass skin-side down, pressing down with a fish slice for 2-3 mins until crisp and golden. Flip and cook for 1-2 mins more until just cooked through.

  • STEP 5

    Tip the sauce, potato, fennel, cucumber, shellfish and a splash of reserved shellfish stock into a pan over a low-medium heat. Cook for 3-4 mins until warmed. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash more of the stock. Chop the parsley leaves and stir through the sauce with a squeeze of lemon juice. Ladle the sauce into shallow bowls and top with the seabass and herb oil, if using.

Discover more pescatarian recipes

One-pan fish stew with prawns and butterbeans

Alternative seabass recipes


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating