Caramelised sea bass with ground fennel and garlic sauce

For a sophisticated meal try Ed Baines's creative fish recipe, an intriguing blend of flavours and textures
By Ed Baines
Caramelised sea bass with ground fennel and garlic sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 4 large aubergines
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 sea bass, each 200g, skin on

For the garlic sauce:

  • 12 clove garlic, peeled, boiled and drained
  • 4 egg whites
  • 800 ml vegetable oil
  • 4 pinches of ground cumin

For the chilli tomato pesto:

  • large bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 200 g toasted almonds
  • juice of 4 lemons
  • 400 g pecorino cheese, grated
  • 4 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 800 ml olive oil

For the fennel sauce:

  • 4 tsp fennel seeds, finely ground
  • 4 tsp white sugar
  • juice of 4 lemons
  • 8 tbsp olive oil

Tips and Suggestions

This recipe contains raw or lightly cooked eggs. Raw or lightly cooked eggs should not be served to young children, elderly people, invalids and pregnant women because of the risk of salmonella poisoning.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

2. Score the aubergine flesh with a sharp knife, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

3. Place the aubergine halves on a roasting tray, drizzle with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, make the garlic sauce. Place the boiled garlic and the egg whites in a food processor. Blend together, gradually adding in the vegetable oil until the sauce achieves a shaving foam consistency. Blend in the cumin. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

5. To make the chilli tomato pesto, blend together the parsley and almonds in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the lemon juice, pecorino, chilli and tomato. Stir in the olive oil.

6. To make the fennel syrup, place the ground fennel seeds, sugar, and the lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.

7. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add in the sea bass fillets, meat side down, to the pan.

8. Fry for 4 minutes on each side, at a moderate heat. While frying, brush the fillets on each side generously with the fennel syrup.

9. To serve, place two aubergine halves each on 4 serving plates. Liberally spoon the pesto over the aubergine halves. Top each portion with a sea bass fillet, then add a large spoonful of garlic sauce on top of the sea bass. Drizzle over any remaining fennel syrup and serve at once.

Rate This Recipe