Seared sea bass, langoustine oil, carrot purée and braised fennel

Chef Chris Bailey serves fried sea bass with an oil made from langoustine shells, a silky carrot purée and braised baby fennel

First published in 2022




Nasturtium oil


Carrot purée

  • 500g of carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 750ml of carrot juice
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • salt to season


Sea bass


  • Thermomix
  • Muslin cloth



To make the nasturtium oil, heat the pomace oil to 80°C in a Thermomix. Add the nasturtium leaves and blend on high for 1 minute, then chill over ice and leave overnight before passing through muslin 


Roast the langoustine shells 180°C for 10 minutes till lightly golden. Add the herbs and spices for 1 minute, then add the oil and reduce the heat to 120°C. Cover and cook for 1 hour, then add the oil and chill 


For the fennel, bring the stock to the boil with the star anise, bay leaf and thyme sprig. Add the salt and fennel, then cook until tender - around 4 minutes.  Remove the fennel from the stock but reserve the liquid. Set aside for reheating later


Cover the carrots with the carrot juice and season with salt. Cook until tender, topping up with water if necessary. Drain, reserving the liquor, and blend on high adding liquid as necessary to make a smooth purée. Transfer to a blender with 75ml langoustine oil and the xanthan gum to emulsify, then season to taste


Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a knob of butter. Cook the sea bass portions skin side down, finishing under the grill until just cooked. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice 


Wilt down the spinach with some butter and salt gently


Heat the fennel gently with some of the stock, and cook the baby carrots in boiling water with a knob of butter


Warm the carrot purée and arrange on the plate with the sea bass, spinach. Garnish with some fresh nasturtium leaves and some of the langoustine oil

Chris Bailey is the estate head chef at the Rathfinny Estate in Sussex.

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