Baked Fillets of Sea Bass with Fennel and Japanese Seaweed in Puff Pastry

Tasty sea bass fillets layered with seaweed and creamy fennel flavoured with pernod are encased in crisp puff pastry in Richard Phillips' fabulous main course
By Richard Phillips
Baked Fillets of Sea Bass with Fennel and Japanese Seaweed in Puff Pastry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 50 g butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 50 ml Pernod
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 8-10 Chinese cabbage, (blanched and dried)
  • 3-4 kg sea bass, scales and pin bones removed and cut into fillets
  • 10 sheets nori seaweed, (Japanese dry seaweed)
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 large sheets puff pastry

To serve

  • buttered jersey royal potatoes, sprinkled with chopped parsley
  • 250 ml creamed fish sauce


1. Heat a large pan and cook the seabass fillets quickly for 30 seconds to seal.

2. Heat the butter in a medium pan and cook the chopped onions until soft but not browned.

3. Add the chopped fennel and cook until tender, but not browned.

4. Add the Pernod and cook until the mixture has reduced and is dry.

5. Stir in the cream and cook gently until reduced by half and the mixture is thick. Allow to cool.

6. Lay the blanched chinese leaves overlapping on a sheet of cling film.

7. Lay 1 sealed sea bass fillet on top, then place a sheet of seaweed on top of the fillet, then some of the fennel mixture, then seaweed, then the second fillet seasoning each layer with salt and pepper as you go. Roll up in the cling film and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to become firm.

8. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

9. Place 1 sheet of puff pastry dough on a baking tray and brush with some of the beaten egg yolks.

10. Remove the layered fish from the cling film and place on top of the dough.

11. Place the other sheet of dough on top, cutting away any excess.

12. Brush the dough generously twice all over with beaten egg yolk.

13. Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden.

14. Serve with buttered Jersey Royal potatoes and a white fish cream sauce.

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