Steamed wild bass with mussel tartare

Speckled with gherkins, capers and lightly steamed mussels, Stephen Harris fish dish looks delicate, but is packed with robust flavours
Steamed wild bass with mussel tartare
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 2-3 hrs refrigeration
  • Effort: easy



  • 170-230 g wild sea bass, fillet from a large fish
  • vegetable oil, or groundnut oil (any neutral oil)
  • 1 cloves finely sliced garlic
  • 1 splashes Muscadet dessert wine
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 1 handfuls mussels
  • 1 bulbs finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp finely chopped gherkins
  • 1 tsp small capers
  • chives

To serve

  • cooked seasonal greens
  • few drops juice lemons
  • 1 dashes of extra virgin olive oil


1. Wash the fish fillet in ice-cold salted water. Dry with kitchen paper and wrap in cling film. Leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

2. Clean and de-beard the mussels. Tap any opened mussels lightly on a hard surface. Discard the those that do not close on response.

3. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-based pan over low heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook until softened but not browned. Pour in the wine and toss in the thyme sprig before boiling for a minute to burn off the alcohol. Tip the mussels into the pan.

4. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the mussels for about 3-4 minutes, giving the pan a shake from time to time. The mussels are cooked when they are opened. Discard any that remain closed.

5. While the mussels are cooking, place the fish (still wrapped in cling film) in a single layer into a steamer. Cover and steam the fish for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.

6. When the mussels have cooked, strain the juice into a small saucepan. Pick the cooked mussels from the shell and set aside.

7. Add the shallot, gherkins and capers to the reserved mussel liquor. Stir in the mussels and chives. Gently warm through, taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, if necessary.

8. To serve, arrange your chosen seasonal greens in the middle of a bowl. Place the steamed fillet on top and spoon the sauce over the top. Finish by sprinkling over a few drops of lemon and a dash olive oil.

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