Sea bass with creamed corn and porcini popcorn

Maria Elia grinds dried porcini mushrooms to a powder and dusts it over sea bass and buttery popcorn in this unusual dish
By Maria Elia
Sea bass with creamed corn and porcini popcorn
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the porcini salt

  • 25 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 50 g coarse sea salt

For the porcini popcorn

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g unpopped popcorn
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • porcini salt, (see above)

For the creamed corn

  • 3 ears sweetcorn
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 400 ml double cream

For the mushrooms

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 g porcini or mixed wild mushrooms, wiped clean, finely sliced
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped

For the seabass

  • 4 fillets sea bass
  • dash olive oil
  • 30 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled


1. For the porcini salt: grind the porcini in a coffee grinder until powdered, add the salt and grind again until well combined. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

2. For the popcorn: heat the oil in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the corn and cover immediately the corn will begin to pop. Cook over a medium heat, moving the pan continuously until the popping stops this will take about 2-3 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and leave covered for a minute. Remove the lid, add the butter and porcini salt to taste, reserving some of the flavoured salt for the seabass. Toss well to mix. The popcorn can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

4. For the creamed corn: remove the corn kernels from the cobs using a sharp knife. Heat the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the shallots and garlic until softened but not browned. Add the corn and crumble in the stock cube.

5. Stir in the cream, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender - about 20-25 minutes. Use a hand-blender to blend the mixture until semi-smooth, then season with black pepper and salt if necessary. Keep warm.

5. For the mushrooms: heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry over a high heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside in a warm place.

6. For the sea bass: use a sharp knife to score the skin of the sea bass, which will prevent the fish from curling while cooking. Season the flesh side with the remaining porcini salt.

7. Heat the olive oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan and, when the butter has begun to foam, add the fish fillets flesh-side down. Fry for a couple of minutes until the skin is crisp. Turn over and continue cooking for a further 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

8. To serve, divide the creamed corn among four plates, top with some watercress sprigs and the mushrooms. Place the sea bass on top and sprinkle over the popcorn. Serve immediately.

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