I love Sea Bass, though historically I’ve always found myself pairing it with the same flavours. It’s either done in a Mediterranean-style with roasted vegetables or, thanks to a Jamie Oliver recipe, with soy sauce and ginger. I think I’ve always been a bit reluctant to change a winning formula. Up until now it had never been a candidate for a fish curry.
A large reason is its shape and size. I tend to imagine curries with big chunks of robust fish – like monkfish or salmon – that are cooked in the sauce itself. I imagine that doing that with delicate fillets of sea bass might not end well. It was only when I saw a similar recipe, with the sauce spooned over pan-fried fillets of another fish that I thought this might be an option.
This isn’t an overly rich or creamy curry sauce – despite the generous helping of coconut cream. Rather it retains a light, sharp flavour from the lemon and ginger that really sits nicely with the sweetness of the fish. It’s also one of the quickest curry sauces I’ve made. I like it’s freshness, but if you want to intensify the flavour you could cook it for a bit longer over a low heat. I’ll leave that up to you.
Sea Bass with Coconut Curry Sauce
For the Coconut Curry Sauce
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
- 5 cm Root Ginger peeled and crushed
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds crushed
- 1 tbsp Tomato Purée
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 150 ml Coconut Cream
For the Sea Bass
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Sea Bass fillets
Make the Coconut Curry Saice
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a further minute or so, making sure it doesn’t burn.
- Sprinkle in the spices, then stir through the onion mixture. Cook for a further minute until fragrant, then add the tomato purée and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Pour in the coconut cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for a further minute or so, then reduce the heat and keep warm.
Cook the Fish
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Lower the fish into the pan, skin side down, and fry for about 5 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden. The flesh should start to turn opaque on the top as the heat from underneath permeates the fish.
- Carefully turn the fish fillets over using a spatula and cook for a further minute.
- Transfer the fillets to two plates, then top with a generous portion of the coconut curry sauce. Serve with jasmine rice and green vegetables.