Seabass with Lagoustines and Vanilla Sauce

For decadent showmanship, try Richard Phillips' adventurous fish dish with sweetly spiced sauce
By Richard Phillips
Seabass with Lagoustines and Vanilla Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the sauce

  • 6 langoustines
  • 50 g shallots, sliced
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 50 ml brandy
  • 25 ml aniseed liqueur, such as pernod
  • 25 ml vermouth
  • 3-4 stems of tarragon
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 litres fish stock
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds removed

For the seabass

  • 1 large beetroot
  • 1 celeriac
  • 50 g mangetout
  • 50 g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 x 180 g sea bass, scaled and pin boned
  • 1 tbsp plain flour, for coating
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 50 g fresh wild mushrooms
  • g black caviar


1. Bring a large pan of slightly salted water to the boil and blanch the langoustine tails. Simmer for 3-5 minutes before draining. Remove and separate the shells from the meat.

2. For the sauce; Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3 and dry the langoustine shells in the oven for about 10 minutes.

3. Heat a dash of olive oil in a saucepan, and add the shallots. Cook for a few minutes, without colouring, and add the shells to the pan.

4. Continue frying for a further 3-4 minutes, before stirring in the tomato puree, and adding all the alcohol. Tip the pan to the heat source so that the alcohol catches and flames. Cook down until it has reduced by half.

5. Add the tarragon, star anise, add fish stock. Continue cooking, until reduced by half again. Stir in the cream and add the vanilla seeds.

6. Bring to the boil, and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, until syrupy in consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and pass through a fine sieve. Set aside.

7. Cut the celeriac and beetroot into 1.5cm cubes. Cook separately in lightly salted water, until just tender. Drain and set aside.

8. Slice the mangetout and sun-dried tomatoes into strips and blanch in slightly salted boiling water until just tender. Drain and leave on one side.

9. Season the sea bass and dust the skin with a little flour. Heat a frying pan over a moderate heat and add a dash of olive oil. Add the fish, and cook for about 3 minutes, skin-side down. Flip the fillet over, and cook for a further 3 minutes.

9. Toss the langoustine tails in a teaspoon of melted butter. Remove to a plate. Heat the blanched mangetout, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in the same pan.

10. Arrange the beetroot and celeriac pieces around a serving platter. Spoon the mangetout mixture in the centre and top with the sea bass and langoustines. Finish with dabs of caviar.

11. Reheat the vanilla sauce and foam with an electric stick blender. Ladle over with the fish platter and serve.

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