Pan-fried sea bass, butter spinach, clams, poached cod cheeks and fish sauce

  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
Not yet rated

Simon Hulstone's sophisticated sea bass recipe creates a remarkable medley of seaside flavours with cod cheeks, fish sauce and clams. Cod cheeks can be bought from your local fishmonger and add a brilliant dimension to this seafood recipe.

First published in 2015




Sea bass

Spinach butter

Clams, poached cod cheeks and fish sauce


  • Steamer
  • Blender


Begin this recipe by cooking the clams. Heat a deep saucepan and add a drop of oil. Add the clams, sliced fennel and Pernod and cover with a lid. Steam until all of the clams have opened. Once opened, set aside. Discard any that remain closed
Drain the liquid from the pan through a sieve and then return the remaining liquid back to the pan. Heat the contents of the pan again, reducing the liquid by half
In another pan, heat the red wine, sugar and vinegar and bring to the boil. Add one of the shallots, cut into rings, and turn the heat off. Allow the liquor to cool
Chop the remaining shallots and sweat them in butter with the sliced clove of garlic until soft, add the white wine and reduce until it resembles syrup. Add the clam stock from the other pan and bring to the boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the double cream and reduce by half. Once reduced, blend the mixture gently in a blender until smooth. Set aside until needed
Soak the cod cheeks in lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Rinse, pat dry the cheeks and place in a steamer for 5 minutes. Once cooked, put in ice cold water for a moment, dry off and cut into 1.5cm diced cubes, refrigerate until needed
For the sea bass, heat a frying pan and drop in a little oil. Once the pan is hot, fry the sea bass skin side down until the skin is golden, turn the fish over to cook the other side
Sauté the mushrooms in a pan with a little butter, oil and salt until cooked
While the mushrooms are cooking, in another pan, fry the spinach with a little butter for a couple of minutes. Then reheat the fish sauce and add the chopped parsley
To plate this sea bass recipe, ladle the fish sauce into a bowl and place the spinach in the centre. Lodge each dicing of cod cheek into the open clams. Plate the mushrooms between each clam and garnish with the shallot rings. Place the sea bass fillet on top of the mound of spinach
First published in 2015

Simon Hulstone's aesthetically pleasing and rewarding cuisine can be found in Torquay at The Elephant, which holds a Michelin star.

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