Summer Sea Bass
I actually went to the store to purchase salmon, because I promised Stefan, from the blog Stefan Gourmet, that I would sous vide salmon. I’ve used my beloved sous vide demi for a variety of meats, but never fish. When I met Stefan in person, he made me promise I’d try salmon.
But, they had no salmon. Not really surprising. I kind of live in the middle of nowhere. We’re landlocked here, so seafood is always a challenging purchase. But I also remember going to the store in this town many years ago with two different grocery lists. If I was having company, I planned two different menus, because most likely a significant ingredient was not available. Like, green beans or cilantro. Or pork.
Fortunately, grocery shopping has improved from those days, but honestly, I shouldn’t have high expectations from the seafood department.
So, no salmon. But I spotted a beautiful filet of sea bass. I always remember Julia Child suggesting that you ask the
guy who works seafood who doesn’t really care about seafood fish monger to smell the fish you want to buy, to make sure that it is fresh. Great advice, but I’ve never been brave enough to do this. Fortunately the bass smelled really good when I got a piece of the filet home.
It’s a truly beautiful white fish. I got Stefan’s recommendation for sous vide’ing the filet. After all, he is the King of Sous Vide. Water temperature 118 degrees Farenheit, for 20 minutes. One end of the filet was quite thick, otherwise 10-15 minutes will do it.
It’s quite simple. You set the temperature, vacuum seal the fish, and watch the time.
Afterwards, pat the fish filet with paper towels.
Meanwhile, make a topping for the fish. This really isn’t a salsa, or even Southwestern, in my mind, mostly because I didn’t use hot sauce or chile peppers. To me, I wanted the flavors of summer to shine with the sea bass.
I mixed together purple onion, avocado, freshly cooked corn, tomatoes, and cilantro. Plus a squeeze of lime. Simple. Mango or peach would have worked with the other ingredients, but I hadn’t planned ahead when I purchased the sea bass. Stir the ingredients well and set aside.
To prepare the fish to serve, only a slight bit or searing is necessary, since the sous vide does the cooking. The searing just adds a little color. You can sear as much as you wish; I went for a modest sear.
I love fish cooked in butter, but because of the summer-inspired topping, I decided on olive oil. Simply add about 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet and turn on the heat to its maximum. You might want to turn on your ventilation system as well.
Add the fish, which I cut into four pieces to make things easier, to the skillet. Stefan suggested only searing on the skin side, but I did both. The fish flesh was very firm, so I knew it wouldn’t fall apart from being flipped over in the skillet.
Serve the sea bass immediately along with the summer-inspired topping.
I paired the meal with a Tecate, which is one of my favorite beers. A crisp Riesling or Pinot Blanc would be wonderful as well.
As you can see, the fish is glistening. It’s perfectly cooked – tender and moist.
This was so successful and impressive. I will definitely use my sous vide machine for more fish experiments. After all, we must eat!!!
Great job!!!! Look at the texture of that fish… perfect!
I haven’t made sea bass on sous vide yet, but salmon several times, and we love it.
(like you, I have never been brave enough to ask to smell the fish… take my chances every single time!)
As soon as I can get some salmon, I’m going to try it. Can’t wait!
Looks incredible Mimi, with a water temp of 118 this would qualify for the raw diet I think. Love the summery topping as well.
Thank you. It was fabulous!
Such a beautiful fresh looking dish!
Thank you, it was very good!
Hi Mimi, great that you’ve tried fish sous-vide and liked it! Thanks for the shout out and nice words. Did you know that you can sous-vide frozen salmon? Perhaps that’s easier to get? Just make sure it’s farmed salmon as wild salmon is too lean. Your salsa looks like something I should try with fish.
A great tip! I can get frozen salmon! Thanks!
Please check this post on how to sous-vide frozen salmon: http://stefangourmet.com/2014/05/19/frozen-salmon-sous-vide/
Sent from my iPad, so please excuse typos
This looks fantastic. I adore sea bass and your salsa looks like the perfect accompaniment. I look forward to trying this at home very soon. Thank you for sharing such a delicious and healthy recipe. Emma xx
It was very good. And a sous vide machine isn’t necessary, but boy does it work well on fish!
Looks delicious and healthy- can’t beat that combo!
What a healthy fish, it does look summery and delicious :D
Choc Chip Uru
Definitely light and summery!
This is a beautiful dish. I love fish with fresh ingredients like these.
If the fish is good, I don’t like anything that masks the fish’s flavor. Love it simple.
I agree. I always worry about the fish I buy. I can smell if it’s fishy so I have to rely on my eyes!
The fish does look quite good. I do remember hearing about Julia Child’s recommendation for smelling fish pre-purchase, though. With the way our grocery stores are, I don’t think that would work. You don’t really see true ‘fish mongers’ all over the place anymore, and unlike butcher shops, which are becoming popular again, I feel like fish are being pushed more and more into the standard grocery store sector.
I agree. Thus my sarcastic comment. I’ve only seen true fishmongers in Europe, and people really know them personaly. So jealous!!!
Sea bass is really fabulous!
Hi Mimi, sous-vide sounds like a wonderful way to prepare fish, love your avocado, corn and tomato topping. Beautiful dish!
Lovely as always Mimi. Stefan has sent me a sous vide challenge. I must get to it. This is inspiring.
This looks like my style of a dinner. I just had perch recently at a restaurant in Helsinki and it was wonderful. thank you for sharing another great recipe for fish.
Looks so colorful and WONDERFUL!
It was very good!!