Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Wild sea bass poached in red wine with creamed cavolo nero, ceps and crisp oysters

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites


  1. For the poaching liquor place all of the poaching liquor ingredients into a saucepan large enough to fit the sea bass.

  2. Place the pan over a low heat and slowly heat to infuse for 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by a quarter.

  3. Skin the sea bass fillet, cut into four equal portions and season with salt, then set aside for ten minutes.

  4. Place the bass in the hot poaching liquor - the liquid should be barely simmering - and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until completely cooked through. Remove from the poaching liquor and keep warm.

  5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the cavolo nero for one minute. Drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water, then squeeze dry. Slice the cavolo nero into fine shreds.

  6. Place the cream and garlic into a pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.

  7. Add the cavolo nero, season, to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and warm through.

  8. Heat the vegetable oil to 190C/375F in a deep fat fryer. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  9. Heat a frying pan until hot, add the olive oil and ceps and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown all over.

  10. Add the butter, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and fry for a further two minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.

  11. Dredge the oysters in the flour, then dip into the beaten egg to coat, then finally dip into the breadcrumbs, ensuring the oysters are well coated.

  12. Add the oysters to the hot oil and deep-fry for 1-2 minutes or until crisp and golden-brown. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and drain onto kitchen paper.

  13. Pour out 110ml/4fl oz of the poaching liquid into a small clean pan over a medium heat.

  14. Add the Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce the liquid by half then remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring well to thicken the sauce.

  15. To serve, spoon the creamed cavolo nero onto plates, arranged slightly to one side. Place a sea bass portion on top of each pile of cavelo nero. Place the ceps and oysters onto the plates on the other side and finish with a drizzle of the sauce


For the poaching liquor

  • 750ml/1pt 6fl oz red port
  • 500ml/18fl oz red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anis
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

For the main dish

  • 1 fillet from a 3kg/6lb/10oz wild sea bass
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero cabbage leaves
  • 110ml/4fl oz double cream
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 110g/4oz fresh ceps, sliced 1cm/½ thick
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 8 fresh oysters, shucked and dried
  • 50g/2oz plain flour
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 200g/7oz breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar (or other good quality red wine vinegar)
  • 50g/2oz butter

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Wild sea bass poached in red wine with creamed cavolo nero, ceps and crisp oysters

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