Broiled Sea Bass w/ Coconut Curry Sauce

23 Jan

To all my fabulous readers: if you do nothing else, make friends with a fishmonger. They will always steer you right. There happens to be a fabulous fish store not too far from where I live (Avenue Seafood) and we’ve been getting great stuff from them for years. I walked in yesterday intending to buy some halibut fillets. The matriarch of the store shook her head – almost violently: “No, you don’t want the halibut. Look at these fillets: they’re not good enough for you. What else can I offer you? I have some great cod, or maybe some sea bass? How about some sea bass? I have some beautiful fish in the back!” I have learned from experience, just go with what she says. Since I was in the mood to try something new anyway, the sea bass was just fine with me.

(A note about sea bass: try to avoid buying Chilean as they are terribly over-fished.)

I surfed around the internet for a bit for inspiration and finally hit on some Indian-flavoured dishes that served as a jumping off point. Here’s what I ended up with. You’ll need about an hour total for this as the sauce needs to reduce and thicken. It’s an incredibly simple recipe, though, that requires almost no prep work at all. Just make sure to keep an eye on your sauce so it doesn’t bubble over.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1 tb vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ts curry powder
1 13oz can coconut milk
1/2 c chicken stock (low sodium if store-bought)
2 ts salt, plus more for seasoning the fish
1 ts pepper, plus more for seasoning the fish
1 ts fish sauce
1 dash chili powder, optional
1 tb lemon juice
2 sea bass fillets

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and curry powder. Sauté until onions are translucent, approximately 4 minutes.
2. Add in the coconut milk and chicken stock. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
3. Add in the salt, pepper, fish sauce and chili powder. Lower heat and let the sauce simmer for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste every once in a while and adjust seasoning as necessary.
4.  Add in the lemon juice at the end and stir.
5. Meanwhile, heat the broiler and place the oven rack roughly 2″ from the top.
6. Line a sheet with foil and place the fish on top. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8 minutes, until the fish is opaque.
7. Plate the fish and generously spoon the sauce over the top.  Best served with over rice to absorb the extra sauce.

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