Oil Poached Sea Bass

Oil poached Sea BassI arrived in a red convertible, tossing my red bob, my bare feet untucked from red wedges. I fumbled in my red purse, searching for my red wallet.

“I bet your favorite color is red,” he declared with a wry smile.

‘My favorite color is plum,” I replied. Always keep them guessing.

In the spirit of keeping them guessing, I’m posting a main dish rather than baked goods, for a change.

Oil Poached Sea Bass
Inspired by Epicurious
Serves 4

This technique creates perfectly cooked fish, tasting of butter and not greasy at all. Since olive oil can be expensive, I used it twice, first poaching for the dish below and then again the next day for succulent fish tacos. I used my Fennel-Orange marmalade as a condiment.


1 qt. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 t. Fennel seeds, toasted
1 t. Sugar
1 Turkish bay leaf
3 Strips of orange zest (approximately 3” x 1” each)
2 Sea Bass fillets (1 ¼ lb. total)

Rub fish with salt and pepper and let stand 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil, fennel, sugar, bay leaf and orange zest in a heavy pot to approximately 210-215 degrees. Submerge fish in oil and cover with lid. Cook fish for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, still covered, and cook with residual heat until just cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Transfer fish to platter using two metal spatulas – fish will be delicate.


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