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Lucie Passédat's Favorite Sea Bass Recipe
Lucie Passédat's Favorite Sea Bass
Gérald Passédat, Le Petit Nice Passédat, France
Gérald Passédat, Le Petit Nice Passédat, France
Flavors of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur
Total time: more than 2 hours

Prep. time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: Under 3 hours

Difficulty: Average
Chef's Note

A signature dish - a slice of steamed sea bass decorated with thin stripes that are alternately dark green and very pale yellow, almost transparent – very fine ribbons of courgette, alternately skin and flesh – and Tricastin truffle.

For 4 servings

- Choose a Sea Bass between 1.5 and 2 kg (3-4 lb.)
- 1 liter (4 cups) fish stock
- 400 g (14 oz.) tomatoes
- 1 tsp. tomato concentrate
- 2.5 g (1/2 tsp.) sugar
- 8 g (1 1/2 tsp.) coriander seed

Aromatics for fish stock
- 1 shallot
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 leek
- 1 bouquet garni

- 4 cherry tomatoes
- 20 g (2/3 oz.) fresh basil
- 20 g (2/3 oz.) fresh cilantro
- 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 500 ml (2 cup) olive oil
- 1 truffle (20 g / 2/3 oz.)
- 50 ml (3 tbsp.) truffle juice
- 2 zucchini
- 1 cucumber
- Wild fennel seed
- Cracked pepper
- 1 green tomato

- Parchment paper
- Plastic wrap

 Initial preparation 

  1. Scale, gut and clean the sea bass; cut out the fillets and remove the bones (reserve them). 
  2. Cut the two fillets into 4 equal portions each, leaving on the skin. Make some light incisions on the skin or ask your fishmonger to prepare the fish for you.

Making the fish stock 

  1. Prepare the aromatic garnish: wash, peel and chop the vegetables. 
  2. Place the fish bones in cold water. 
  3. Crush the fish head and sauté it in 250 ml (1 cup) olive oil; add the vegetables and enough water just to cover. Add the bouquet garni and cook for 1 hour. Strain and set aside.

Making the base 

  1. Place the fish stock, coriander, sugar, tomato concentrate and washed, coarsely chopped tomatoes into a large saucepan.
  2. Simmer over medium heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until reduced by half. 
  3. Put everything through a food mill and set aside. 

Preparing the garnish 

  1. Remove the zest from the lemons and cut into very small dice; blanch, refresh and set aside. 
  2. Hull and peel the cherry tomatoes; cut the flesh into small dice (don't keep the insides). 
  3. Slice the truffle thinly on a mandolin. Set half aside in olive oil; cut the other half into very small dice. 
  4. Remove the stems from the basil and cilantro and wash the leaves; chop finely. 
  5. Cut the outside parts of the peeled cucumber (don't use the center) into thin noodles as well as the skin of the unpeeled zucchini. Blanch and refresh for 30 seconds. 
  6. Place the vegetable "noodles" on parchment paper of a size to cover the fish portions.

 Cooking the fish  

  1. Brush a baking dish with clarified butter; sprinkle with fleur de sel, fennel seed, cracked pepper and slices of green tomato. 
  2. Place the fish portions on top and season the top with salt and pepper; add fish stock just to reach the top of the fish.
  3. Steam, covered with plastic wrap, at 60° C (140° F) for 12-14 minutes. Let rest. 

Finishing and presentation 

  1. To the base, add the chopped basil and cilantro, lemon zest, diced tomato, finely diced truffle, truffle oil and lemon juice. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Heat gently without boiling. 
  2. Place the vegetable noodles on the cooked fish and steam lightly to reheat. 
  3. Place some of the base into each serving bowl; gently place the fish on top; finish with a drizzle of olive oil over the vegetable noodles and the base and add a pinch of Camargue sea salt. 
  4. Heat the sliced truffles in olive oil and place them on top just before serving. 
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