Make Sea Bass with Spiced Rice

“My mum used to make this favourite of mine for me, my brothers and my sister. Breakfast was pretty busy for her with seven of us to feed, but she could rustle this up quickly and sometimes she made it for lunch instead. If she was really pressed for time, instead of waiting for the eggs to set, she’d scramble them into the tomato mixture, which I loved. Here I’ve married the classic with one of my favourite ingredients, aubergine. You must make the sauce in an ovenproof frying pan, as the eggs are baked right at the end. Just 5 minutes in a hot oven is all it takes for the whites to set and the yolks to still be soft and runny.” – Tony Kitous


Serves 6



For the sea bass
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed


    • Juice of 1 lemon


    • 1 tsp cumin


    • Small bunch of coriander, chopped


    • 25ml olive oil


    • ½ tsp salt


    • Good pinch of black pepper


    • 6 large sea bass fillets – ask the fishmonger for the bones


  • Small handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley and pomegranate seeds, to serve


For the rice
    • 25ml olive oil


    • 2 onions, finely chopped


    • 500g basmati rice


    • 1 tsp salt


    • 1 tsp cumin


  • Juice of 1 lemon


For the stock and sauce
    • 50ml olive oil


    • 2 onions, sliced


    • 1 garlic clove, chopped


    • 500g fish bones


    • 1½–2 litres boiling water


    • 1 lemon, chopped


    • 1 tsp cumin


  • 1 tsp cornflour



  1. 1. Start by making the stock. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until they turn a dark golden colour. Scoop out a spoonful (about a third) to use as garnish later.
  2. 2. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the fish bones, the boiling water, the lemon and the cumin, and cover the pan with a lid. Bring to the boil and simmer, half-covered, for 1 hour.
  3. 3. Next, marinate the sea bass. Put the garlic, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, oil, salt and pepper into a shallow container. Stir everything together. Add the fillets and toss to coat. Cover and chill until you’re ready to cook them.
  4. 4. When the stock is cooked, strain it into a bowl. Now it’s time to cook the rice. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the finely chopped onions until golden. Stir in the rice, the salt and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Pour 1 litre of stock into the pan and stir everything together.
  5. 5. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down very low and cook for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, squeeze over the juice of a lemon and leave the rice to steam.
  6. 6. While the rice is cooking, heat the grill until it’s very hot. Take the fish fillets out of the marinade, lay them on a baking sheet and grill until the flesh is opaque, 5–10 minutes.
  7. 7. Pour the rest of the stock into a clean saucepan and place over a low heat. Put the cornflour into a small bowl and stir in a couple of tablespoons of the cold stock. Stir this to make a thick sauce, then pour it BACK into the stock to thicken it slightly.
  8. 8. When you’re ready to serve, spoon the rice into bowls, top with the fish, then spoon over the sauce and finish with a few of the reserved onions and a sprinkling of parsley and pomegranate seeds.

Words by admin

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