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Seared Sea Bass with Malaysian Coconut and Peanut Curry



  • 1

    Step 1

    For the marinade Pick coriander and mint leaves, chop lemongrass and juice lemon.
  • 2

    Step 2

    Put lemongrass, mint and coriander in Robocoupe, blitz until smooth paste(may need to add a little water to help bring paste together)
  • 3

    Step 3

    Once blitz into smooth paste, add in coconut milk, lemon juice and season to taste. The marinade should be of a coating consistency.
  • 4

    Step 4

    For the sea bass Gut, scale and trim fins of the fish and Fillet fish, leave skin-on, portion the fillets into four equal sizes and then score the skin.
  • 5

    Step 5

    Marinade flesh side down without covering the scored skin for 20-30mins.
  • 6

    Step 6

    Lift fish off the marinade, season skin side with salt, sear on a hot pan skin side down first using silicone paper (cooking the fish this way ensures that the fish does not stick to the pan and for better even cooking of the skin)
  • 7

    Step 7

    Using a fish slice, press the fish down to stop it from curling up and ensures even cooking of the skin.
  • 8

    Step 8

    Cook fish three quarters on the way skin side down, once skin is crispy and evenly coloured turn fish and leave to cook all the way from residual heat.
  • 9

    Step 9

    For the Charred turnip Bring a pot of salted water to a boil (for blanching), and have a griddle pan on heat (for charring).
  • 10

    Step 10

    Trim and wash turnip. Chop turnip to 1cm thick then using a metal ring cut turnips into uniformed rounds.
  • 11

    Step 11

    Blanch for a minute, refreshed and patted dry. Lightly brush turnips with oil, season with salt and char on a griddle pan. Do not move for couple of minutes to achieve bar marks. Once charred, turn 180 degrees on the same side to achieve criss-cross grill mark and then do the same to the other side.
  • 12

    Step 12

    Once cooked, bring to the pass to be plated.
  • 13

    Step 13

    For the pickled turnip Bring water and vinegar to a simmer, once simmering add in sugar and salt. Stir until sugar and salt is dissolved. Leave to cool down until needed.
  • 14

    Step 14

    Peel and grate ginger root using a fine grater.
  • 15

    Step 15

    Squeeze out juice and set aside until needed.
  • 16

    Step 16

    Trim and wash turnip. Thinly slice turnip using a mandoline into rounds and make a cut halfway across (presentation purposes)
  • 17

    Step 17

    Transfer into a container and pour in pickling liquor. Leave to pickle in the fridge until needed.
  • 18

    Step 18

    Drain of liquor and then pour in ginger juice into the turnip just before plating.
  • 19

    Step 19

    For the roasted crushed peanuts Heat oven to 180°c, season and evenly spread peanuts in a baking tray, roast for 20-25 minutes. When roasted, crush peanuts in a Robocoupe to coarse texture, set aside until needed for service.
  • 20

    Step 20

    For the garlic crisps Peel and then thinly slice garlic cloves.
  • 21

    Step 21

    Bring milk with a little bit of water to a simmer and then throw in garlic to blanch and remove the heat of them. Leave to poach in milk for 5 mins. Once blanched, drain and then into a tray with paper towel to dry.
  • 22

    Step 22

    Heat oil in saucepan or deep fat fryer to 150℃ and throw in garlic and fry slowly until golden brown and crispy Once fried, drain excess oil and then season with salt.
  • 23

    Step 23

    For the turnip tops Wash and pick turnip tops leaves. Melt butter in a pan with 200ml of water. Bring the emulsion into a simmer and stir in turnip tops, adjust seasoning, cook for a minute and fish out turnip tops using a slotted spoon.
  • 24

    Step 24

    For the fish stock In a large pot, place fish bones, white wine and enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Skim off white foam or any scum on top as it approaches boiling, reduce heat to simmer.
  • 25

    Step 25

    Add in the rest of the ingredients (except salt) and leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove stock from the heat and leave to steep for at least 10 minutes. Pass through a fine mesh chinois, season lightly with salt and then set aside until needed.
  • 26

    Step 26

    For the curry sauce
  • 27

    Step 27

    Place ingredients 1 to 7 along with the vegetable oil in Robocoupe and blitz until resembles a paste.
  • 28

    Step 28

    On a hot pan cook the paste until caramelized and fragrant.
  • 29

    Step 29

    Place the cooked paste on the side of the pan, add more oil(if needed) and fry the spices in the same pan and toast for couple of minutes and then stir together with the paste.
  • 30

    Step 30

    Deglaze the pan with fish stock, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to lift all the sediments(flavour). Bring to the boil and reduce to about ½.
  • 31

    Step 31

    Once reduced add coconut milk and palm sugar, bring back to a simmer and adjust seasoning with soy sauce and fish sauce (may not need all).
  • 32

    Step 32

    Once happy with the seasoning add in peanut butter, stir and leave to simmer again until thick (coating consistency). Adjust seasoning again if needed.


37 Total
  • 1 whole sea bass
  • 150 g Fresh Coriander
  • 70 g fresh mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 lemongrass
  • 100 g coconut milk
  • 3 turnip
  • 100 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 300 ml water
  • 50 g sugar
  • 15 g salt
  • 90 g fresh ginger
  • 100 g crushed peanuts
  • 16 garlic cloves
  • 100 ml milk
  • 100 g turnip tops
  • 50 g butter
  • 400 g fishbones
  • parsley stalks
  • 1.5 white onion
  • black peppercorns
  • bay leaves
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 50 g fresh coriander leaves
  • 5 g fresh red chilli
  • 10 g mild curry powder
  • 3 g coriander seeds
  • 3 g cumin
  • 3 g tumeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 10 ml light soy sauce
  • 20 ml fish sauce
  • 10 g palm sugar
  • 500 ml fish stock
  • 75 g peanut butter

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