Sea bass is a white, meaty fish that is extremely versatile. Cooked on the bone or beautifully filleted, sea bass can stand up to most dominant flavours whether you’re making a sophisticated dinner party dish or firing up the barbecue.
Serving Sea bass
Matt Peryer, Head Chef at Lewtrenchard Manor, loves cooking the seasons and is eagerly anticipating the warmer weather that brings an abundant return of sea bass to South Coast fishing waters.
“Sea bass is a very versatile fish, beautiful cooked in many different ways, I would have to say, my favourite way to cook it is the classic way of heating up a pan with a little oil and placing the fish skin-side down. Then seasoned with a little sea salt and gently fried for a couple of minutes before being placed in the oven. Finished with butter, thyme and lemon juice, the skin is crisp and the fish beautifully flaky.
I also like using sea bass as a starter in the restaurant and love it prepared ceviche style. Ceviche is when the dish is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime. The flavours are so fresh and work great with subtle spices. One of my favourite dishes we do at Lewtrenchard is ceviche of sea bass, Devon crab, pickled ginger and a Thai puree.”
Bass by the Sea
Outdoor adventurers and seaside foragers, Fore/Adventure, like nothing more than to go fishing for seasonal gems off the Dorset coast.
“Sea bass is always at the top of our ‘catch it’ wish list when we head out on the kayaks and if the sea gods deliver, the Fore family are pleased as punch. There is nothing like cooking your catch on the beach; freshly caught and cooked on a smoky fire, it’s simply stunning.
Although this beautiful fish is one of the nation’s favourites, sea bass stocks have faced a decline in recent years and there are strict guidelines for recreational fishermen to protect the fish. Between January 1 to June 30 bass are on catch and release only – but get your practice in this month before you make your prime catch this summer.
From July 1 to December 31 you can catch one per fisherman, per day in line with the government size limits. From our experience the best time of year to try your luck is between July and September at dawn and dusk.”
Cooking Sea Bass on the Barbecue
Here are Fore/Adventure’s top tips to cooking sea bass on the barbie;
- If you’re buying your bass from the fishmonger, ask them to gut but not skin the fish as this helps to protect the flesh from the fire.
- To protect your fish wrap it in foil. Alternatively, we like to use seaweed which also adds flavour.
- Use charcoal, wood or a gas barbecue and slash the fish on both sides of the body to let the flavour permeate.
- Spread garlic butter on the flesh and in the cavity, or with oil, salt and lemon.
- The sea bass, size-dependent, will cook in approximately 15 minutes; flipping halfway through the cooking process. The fish is ready when the flesh flakes away from the bone.
- Serve with a mixed green salad, new potatoes finished on the barbecue and a herb sauce or butter.
Visit Lewtrenchard Manor at; www.lewtrenchard.co.uk
And for a coastal adventure why not visit Fore/Adventure at; www.foreadventure.co.uk