Sea bass recipe with fermented chilli

Sea bass with fermented chilli

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Check out this gluten free sea bass with fermented chilli. This punchy fish recipe is super easy to make and comes from the new Taiwanese restaurant XU in London's Chinatown


*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards



  • sea bass fillets 4
  • fish stock 200ml


  • red and green chillies 250g, cut in half and deseeded
  • sea salt 3 tbsp
  • vegetable oil 2 tbsp
  • lemon juice a squeeze


  • red chillies 100g, halved and deseeded
  • garlic 6 cloves
  • oil 200ml
  • lemon 2, zested
  • fermented bean curd 100g


  • Step 1

    Make the fermented chillies by putting the red and green chillies into a bowl. Sprinkle over 1 tbsp of salt and leave for 3 hours, then rinse under cold water. Heat 250ml of water in a small pan with the remaining 2 tbsp of salt, until the salt has dissolved. Pour into a jug with 250ml of cold water. Put the rinsed chillies in a jar and pour over enough brine to cover, ensuring they’re fully submerged. Leave to ferment in the fridge for 2-3 weeks (see details below or read our expert guide to fermenting here).

  • Step 2

    Put all of the marinade ingredients into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Pour into a container with the sea bass and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

  • Step 3

    Put the fish stock into a small pan and gently reduce until you have 50ml of intense fish stock.

  • Step 4

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Scrape off most of the marinade from the fish, add the fillets to a roasting tray and cook for 10 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Remove 3 chilli halves of each colour from the brine and finely chop. Heat the oil in 2 small pans and fry separately until heated through. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.

  • Step 6

    Serve the sea bass with the two colours of fermented chilli down two halves of the fillets and some of the fish stock spooned around.

You need to seal the jar of chillies and put it in the fridge, unscrewing the lid every 4-5 days to let out any gas produced by the fermentation, or, instead, buy jars of pickled chillies at any large supermarket. You can find fermented bean curd in Chinese supermarkets and on

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 402
  • Fat 30.5g
  • Saturates 5.4g
  • Carbs 1g
  • Sugars 0.5g
  • Fibre 0.2g
  • Protein 31g
  • Salt 0.4g