You can take away the fish from a Bengali but you cannot take the Bengali away from fish. 🐟 So, usually on Sundays, I wake the human up or maybe he wakes me up to run to the farmer’s market at Bastille (yes same place in Paris with a huge pillar and golden angel re-instating your dislike for all things silver) to buy that fresh seafood or a nice blue cheese, and of course fish. This particular Sunday we were particularly hungover and I needed some fresh, aromatic, sublime but gives you a kick kind of food. A new broth was invented.
A Sea-bass in a tomato and kaffir lime broth with scallions and bird eye chillies.
- 2 sea-bass fillets
- 1 large tomato
- 4 kaffir lime leaves + 1/4 kaffir lime zest and juice
- 4 scallions/green onions finely chopped
- 1 bird’s eye chilli chopped (de-seed it to take off the heat)
- A bunch of coriander leaves
- 1/2 inch ginger
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 fennel seeds
- Start by prepping the fish. With a sharp knife make some sharp incisions on the skin side of the fillet (this prevents the fish from curling up). Add some salt pepper and a few drops of lime juice and keep aside.
- Prepare the broth. Heat some olive oil and add the fennel seeds, ginger, and half the scallions (keep the green part aside). Sauté until the scallions are translucent and add the tomatoes and cook for 8-10 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked. Add the chopped coriander, 2 kaffir lime leaves and chillies and 3/4th cup of water. Add salt and pepper and let it simmer.
- Next heat some butter and olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the fish fillet, skin side down. Press it with three fingers for 30 seconds. Add the kaffir lime leaves and after 3 minutes flip it to the other side. Keep basting to ensure the fish is not dry and cooked thoroughly with a crispy skin.
- Next, sieve out the broth and add some kaffir lime zest and juice. Finally, for plating add the fish to the centre and the broth all around it.Serve along with some scallions and a crispy kaffir lime leaf.