Sea bass has never had such wonderful company. In Shaun Rankin's poached sea bass fillet recipe, the fish is served with Royal Bay oysters, tender asparagus and tangy confit lemon butter for a deliciously memorable seaside meal.
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Start the sea bass dish by making the confit lemon butter. First put the butter in a bowl and leave to soften. Add the zest and juice from 1 of the lemons. Season with salt and pepper and mix well
250g of unsalted butter
Combine the caster sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil to dissolve and create stock syrup. Slice the remaining lemon as thin as possible and add to the stock syrup
200g of caster sugar
200ml of water
Add the star anise and cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the syrup is glossy and translucent. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pan
1 star anise
For the sea bass, roll out some cling film onto a board, keeping it flat and tight. Place a spoonful of the lemon butter on the cling film, then place a sea bass fillet on top, skin side down. Add a slice of the confit lemon, followed by another spoonful of lemon butter
4 sea bass fillets
Fold the cling film over the mixture twice to form a parcel and tuck in the edges to make watertight. Repeat with the remaining sea bass fillets. Cook in a steamer for 9 minutes
Remove the sea bass from the steamer and carefully open the parcels at one end using a pair of scissors. Pour the excess juice into a saucepan and keep warm
Suck the oyster and remove the flesh from their shells and retain the juice in a separate saucepan. Warm over a medium heat and whisk in 1 teaspoon of lemon butter, but do not bring to the boil. Add the oysters to the saucepan and warm through
Meanwhile, snap the bottoms off the asparagus and steam for 5–6 minutes until tender, but with a little crunch
12 asparagus spears
To serve, put the asparagus on the plates and place the sea bass on top. Spoon over the oysters and drizzle over some of the juice from the fish. Add a sprinkling of chives over the sea bass and serve
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