Guaranteed Party Approved: Roasted Sea Bass with Chermoula

July 31, 2016

Oftentimes, I get tired of the same old fish dishes or get really stressed over what I should bring at the next family get-together—this roasted sea bass is the answer. Deceptively simple and easy, our roasted sea bass gets dinner out in under an hour with minimal preparation without compromising flavor. The uncomplicated flavors of the meaty sea bass displays the complex flavors of the sauce. A mixture of herbs, spices, and aromatics, the chermoula is a popular North African marinade to fish and seafood. The fresh herbaceous marinade flavors mild fish and seafood without overpowering the meat’s delicate flavor. Heavily unrepresented in the country, North African cuisine has so much to offer—let our chermoula be your figurative toe dip into the water that is African cuisine.


Roasted Sea Bass with Chermoula and Rice Pilaf

Yield: 4–6 servings
Time: 45 minutes (25 min prep / 20 min cooking)

Ingredients: Grilled Sea Bass

  • 1 whole sea bass (approx. 1.5–2kg), scaled and gutted
  • 3 potatoes, cut into rounds
  • 5 tomatoes, cut into rounds
  • 1 lemon, cut into rounds
  • 6 pieces green and black olives, pitted
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon, cut into wedges

Ingredients: Chermoula

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch dried chili flakes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt

Ingredients: Rice Pilaf

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup pistachio/almonds
  • 3 cups chicken stock, heated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parsley, for garnish

Procedure: Roasted Sea Bass and Chermoula

  1. Preheat the oven to 215°C. Combine the chermoula ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Use a sharp knife to open the fish from the belly. Rub the chermoula all over the fish, inside and out. Leave to marinade in the fridge for 1–3 hours.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet pan big enough to accommodate the whole fish and brush with olive oil. Arrange the potato and tomato slices, slightly overlapping over the base of the tray. Drizzle lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix together the lemon and olives. Lay the fish on top of its potato and tomato bed, then stuff with the olives and lemons. Allow any excess to tumble out of the cavity.
  5. Roast of 15–25 minutes, the roasting time may vary according to the thickness of the fish, so start checking after 15 minutes. Pierce the fish down to its spine at its thickest part with a small knife. The flesh should be completely opaque and white.
  6. Once cooked, bring the tray directly to the table. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with lemon wedges.

Procedure: Rice Pilaf

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter together in a pan. Add the onions in, once cooked, add the rice and toast for 3–5 minutes. Making sure all the grains are toasted.
  2. Add the stock into the pan and raisins as soon as it boils cover and cook for 15 minutes. After cooking, check if rice is completely cooked and that all the liquid has been absorbed. Cook for a few more minutes if your rice looks a little damp.
  3. Let it sit for an additional 5–10 minutes off the heat then fluff with a fork. Add in your pistachios and parsley before plating.
Bernice Escobar SEE AUTHOR Bernice Escobar

Bernice loves to get nerdy about food and making people hungry. In her free time, she attempts to play with her anti-social cat and fantasizes about all things sweet.

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