Tony Kitous – Founder of vibrant, souk-style restaurant Comptoir Libanais – has shared his recipe for the perfect fried sea bass. You can discover this dish, and all of Comptoir Libanais' fragrant Middle Eastern flavours, right here on Deliveroo. But, if you want to go the extra mile for some guests, or show off your new-found Lebanese knowledge, here's Tony with the inside scoop on perfect sea bass.
"This is my version of Sayadiah, a popular seafood dish in Lebanon and a good one for serving to large groups, as you can scale up the amount of fish fillets and rice as necessary. Sea bass has such a delicate flavour that you need to do very little to it – a very small amount of cumin is added here just to give it a hint of spice. The stronger flavours come from the rice element of the dish and all you need is a simple vegetable dish to serve alongside it."
3 tbsp tahini
100g plain yoghurt
Squeeze of lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
500ml hot fish stock
250g basmati rice
250ml vegetable oil
25g pine nuts
1 large onion, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp plain flour
8 seabass fillets, cut in half crossways
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flat-leaf parsley leaves, to garnish
What to do
First, stir the tahini and yoghurt together in a bowl. Season with the lemon juice and salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Then put the fish stock into a small pan and bring it to boil. Add the rice and simmer on the lowest setting according to the timings on the packet.
Heat about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the pine nuts until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Pour the remaining vegetable oil into the pan and heat until a splash of water sizzles on contact with the oil.
Toss the onion into the hot oil and fry until golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Season with a pinch of salt.
Heat the olive oil in a separate large, heavy-based frying pan. In a bowl, mix the cumin with the flour, then toss the fish in it. Fry the fish in batches, skin-side down, for a couple of minutes, then turn over and cook until just cooked through.
Fluff the rice up with a fork and then spoon on to a large plate. Spoon the fish on top, then scatter the onion and pine nuts over it. Drizzle with a little of the tahini sauce and serve the remainder in a bowl alongside. Garnish the dish with the parsley leaves and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
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