Sea bass in a bag

Fennel and tarragon add a pleasing whiff of anise to Allegra McEvedy's simple fish supper
By Allegra McEvedy
Sea bass in a bag
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus cooling time
  • Effort: easy


  • 200 ml fish stock
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 1/2 fennel, bulb, shaved thinly
  • 2 tsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest only, plus lemon wedges to serve
  • 2 fillets sea bass, about 150g each
  • 30 g butter
  • about 4 tbsp wine


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.

2. Combine the fish stock, shallots, garlic and bay leaves in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and boil hard until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Set aside to cool.

3. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, par-boil the new potatoes in salted water for 5-10 minutes depending on size. Drain, cool and slice them finely.

4. Lay 2 large sheets of foil on a work surface and spread the new potatoes and shaved fennel in a horizontal line along the centre of each. Lift the shallots from the cooled stock and scatter them over the potatoes.

5. Mix the tarragon, parsley and lemon zest with some seasoning. With your knife angled towards the tail end of the fish, make 3 evenly-spaced shallow slashes in the skin side of each fillet and stuff them with this herb mixture.

6. Season the fish then lay the fillets skin-side up on the vegetables and sit a bay leaf on top. Dot with the butter.

7. Fold the bottom edge of the foil up to meet the top and seal the sides by folding them in firmly until they meet the edge of the fish.

8. Divide the cooled stock and wine between the bags then fold them to seal the tops. Place the parcels on a baking tray and cook for about 15 minutes, until the bags have puffed up.

9. Serve the bags and their contents in warmed, wide shallow bowls with some lemon on the side.

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